Whether you live, work or are visiting Cardiff this new service brings you timely travel information:
Whether you live, work or are visiting Cardiff this new service brings you timely travel information:
There are two things on my schedule:
I am looking forward to learning a few more rudiments of the Breton language, which has some similarities to the Welsh language, and practising during my time there.
Google and Bing do not offer a machine translation service for the Breton language but there is a basic machine translation service through Apertium.
Hedyn.net has a new skin, Pivot, mainly because it has a responsive design and the previous one, Vector, does not. In other words it responds to screen sizes from laptop/desktop down to the smallest mobile phone.
I’m not sure why Wikipedia still runs Vector and continues to offer separate mobile and desktop versions. That’s another story.
If you want to check if a website design is responsive, just visit from a phone or tablet and compare it to laptop. Alternatively change the shape and size of the browser on your laptop and watch what happens..
Hedyn.net is a wici which has been running continuously for nine years to provide a knowledge base for Welsh-language web resources, e.g. a list of blogs in Welsh, ideas and planning for Hacio’r Iaith unconference events, and WordPress resources for website developers.
I visit Hedyn.net several times each week to access resources and look things up. Contributions are always welcome in the form of edits. I’m also trying to do more notetaking there as public-by-default, especially things which have no need to be kept private.
(Well, when I say ‘new’ I mean new adaptation of an old favourite…)
It should work on mobile phones as well as personal computers, etc.
It’s a Welsh-language adaptation of a game by Github user Chvin, which in turn is based on the original concept by Alexey Pajitnov and Vladimir Pokhilko.
It’s been an opportunity for me to practise version control in Git, and look at the React library for the first time.
Petrus is the second game in an occasional series. More to come soon!
Here’s a browser-based game for you to enjoy, Pŵl Cymru.
It is a Welsh-language adaptation of a game by Chen Shmilovich, and works on computers only. It won’t work on phonees or mobile devices.
If you’re not fluent in Welsh then you will probably figure it out. 🙂
Diolch i’r rhai sydd eisoes wedi ei phrofi, ac i Chen Shmilovich am ddatblygu’r gêm yn y lle cyntaf. / Thanks to those who have already tried it, and to Chen Shmilovich for developing the game in the first place.
Yn cyflwyno’r Welsh Language Vowel Locator.
It’s another one in the occasional series #GorauArfArfDysg.
Here are some of the recent tweets:
do u require help tracking down welsh vowels https://t.co/D7t8kE2PNG
— Elena Cresci (@elenacresci) February 20, 2018
No more comments about the lack of vowels in the Welsh language … ever!https://t.co/7BJv2jp1FH
— Dilwyn Roberts-Young (@DilwynRY) February 21, 2018
Note to anglophones, ‘w’ and ”y’ are vowels in Welsh. In fact, we fail to see how they can be anything other than vowels.
I mean, how can you possibly see or hear ‘w’ (oo, u in English) & ‘y’ (the schwa) as consonants? No really, how? 🤔
‘h’ also sometimes counted as vowel https://t.co/DEO55h2qGy
— Siôn Jobbins (@MarchGlas) February 20, 2018
This is genius, for all those who struggle to find vowels in written Welsh, struggle no more with this handy Welsh vowel locator!
Words like cychwr, mwgwd, and ysbryd need not perplex you any longer, help is at hand! https://t.co/BIvpxbSho1
— Antwn Owen Hicks #FBPE (@Pibydd) February 21, 2018
I’ve cross-posted this post on Open Data Institute Cardiff blog as well. Thanks to David Wyn Williams for his invaluable help on the post.
Have a peek at this map of Wales, with place names in Welsh.
Many people have never seen place names in Welsh such as Aberteifi, Treffynnon or Aberdaugleddau on an online map – or indeed any map.
These names have been used for many generations until the present day, from conversations to road signs to media. The Welsh-language Wikipedia, known to its users as Wicipedia Cymraeg, has articles bearing these names.
Nevertheless they are not usually offered or recognised by the well known proprietary map providers.
In order to build a map in Wales’ own language we at the project have drawn from freely licensed OpenStreetMap data, server software, and documentation. These are all the work of many contributors around the world, and to these people we are very grateful. We are also very thankful to the Welsh Language Unit of the Welsh Government who have funded this early work.
This is a draft map running on a prototype server. It gives you the ability to pan and zoom. As the developer on this project I am very pleased with the results so far.
I will introduce another feature very soon – the ability to embed this map on any website.
Nevertheless you might spot omissions or glitches while it’s being developed, and some big areas for functional improvement.
As I write this we have received a bundle of very useful place name data from the office of the Welsh Language Commissioner, which is itself the fruit of years of dedicated work. This is comprehensive down to the level of villages, and licensed under OGL.
This section contains background if you are interested in improving OpenStreetMap place names and other data.
Imports of the OSM data happen automatically overnight. Some pre-rendering of map tiles is also done, to speed things up.
The ideal OSM data set for place names in Welsh would have a name:cy tag for every single item. We are not there yet.
In the meantime my system uses name:cy tags and some name tags.
name:cy has highest precedence. If you want to add a definitive name in Welsh to anything, edit the map on osm.org and add a name:cy tag. You will need to create a user account if you don’t already have one. Provided your submission is accepted by the community this will guarantee its inclusion on the next nightly update.
Many name:cy tags already exist.
The challenge with the existing data is that some names that we want to use are currently only available from the name tag. That is, many places do not have a name:cy tag.
Understandably OSM contributors haven’t tended to add an identical name:cy tag for Morfa Nefyn, Abersoch, and hundreds of other villages and places.
I’ve tried rendering different versions of the map using different criteria. Enabling all name tags somewhat ruins the ethos and magic of having a map in Welsh. Then huge tracts of Wales vanished when I removed the name tags again!
So I have set the system to use name for these types of places only:
For other elements I also have a white list and black list, e.g. ‘Ysgol’, ‘Capel’ and ‘Eglwys’ are on the white list, among others. We will tend to want names containing those words.
name:cy currently overrides all of this however. Do please add name:cy tags via osm.org if you spot errors or gaps, and they will also be available to other projects around the world.
What you see now is just one possible app that uses the underlying map infrastructure to show a map of Wales.
Having a map like this introduces many exciting possibilities in:
Here’s an item in Welsh for the TV programme Heno about Cof y Cwmwd, a new multi-author website about the Uwchgwyrfai area.
The purpose of the site is to collect and share historical information about the area, its institutions and people.
As web developer I have been working with Canolfan Hanes Uwchgwyrfai on this site, which is powered by MediaWiki server software.
Activity has increased today during the first Golygathon (Editathon) on the wiki, a community event to stimulate contributions. The Golygathon is headed by Jason Evans of the National Library of Wales, who is the Wicipediwr Preswyl (Wikipedian in Residence) and knows a great deal about growing wikis!
It’ll be very interesting to see how projects like Wikipedia and the new website Cof y Cwmwd share content between them in the future.
Pic of the Golygathon by Jason Evans
People often ask me about the best way to create and manage a truly bilingual or multilingual website. This is a common need in many contexts around the world.
Usually any given website, or section of a website, is on a spectrum of multilingual availability.
For example – and to take an extreme case- Wikipedia’s various language projects all have the same underlying software but are maintained completely separately by their communities, albeit with a certain amount of adaptation and translation flowing between them.
At the other end of the spectrum is a public body which publishes two or more language versions of every piece of content.
Translation is sometimes seen as a way of fulfilling this requirement, increasingly with a translation memory. Saying that, translation is certainly not the only way and may not even be always the best way.
Somewhere in between is a sort of hybrid website which publishes all ‘publicity’ material multilingually but gives the blog(s) and ‘human voice’ content for each language its own independent life. Let me know if you’ve seen an example of this being done successfully though.
My personal record, if I can put it that way, is a website serving four languages – German, Norwegian, English and Dutch, for a European theatre project which I co-developed in WordPress for a client in London some years ago.
Many models and forms of multilingualism are technically possible and implemented around the world.
It often pains me to see organisations offering a below par experience of multilingualism. This should be core to any discussion of user experience, and worth investing in to get right. There are plenty of examples of excellent practice, and there is help available!
Outside the world of organisations I’ve just added some new functionality and a new work section to my own website, morris.cymru.
This website originally started under another name in 2008 for various musings and thoughts. Over time I’ve switched languages a bit (English and Welsh), and also gradually had a need to share more work-oriented projects.
I have retained my nine years of blog post archives, and have added code and settings to recover gracefully when a historical blog post is available in one language and not another.
Here is the technical background. I use WordPress.org. Regardless of the multilingual plugin you use you need language files for WordPress core, the theme, plugins as well as text for widgets, menus, categories, and more. The QTranslate X plugin, which is in my opinion currently the best (apart from the erroneous use of flags for languages), automates much of this searching for language files, when they are available. This plugin does require a whole load of configuration.
Please contact me if you’d like to discuss help on this!