When Pocket-lint started in 2003 the aim was to cover the tech industry in a consumer-friendly way for those keen to read it. Although a UK-based publication, the approach has always been to tackle stories from a global perspective.
Over the years our readership has grown from a handful of people in London to a huge global audience with readers in every far-flung destination around the globe that you can imagine.
But there’s always been a barrier to us reaching more places and more people – language.
In January 2020 that barrier started to fall away for us. Through improvements in artificial intelligence and machine learning computers are now able to do a vast array of things that previously haven’t been possible at scale or speed.
One of those things is translation.
Using a combination of the Google translate API, machine learning, and some human intervention, Pocket-lint is able to offer our news, reviews, features and buying guides in other languages.
The process – while complex and complicated behind the scenes – is very easy for you to enjoy as a reader. Going forward when one of our editors writes an article on the site it will now be automatically translated into the languages we support.
With thousands of articles published on Pocket-lint since 2003 it seemed pointless to translate every single one. Our non-English language editions will offer every article going back to 2017 and a selection of reviews and features we’ve hand-picked before that. Going forward, every article we write will be available in the languages we support as soon as the writer hits the publish button.
We’re able to do this because we aren’t waiting on a human to manually translate each and every article after we publish them.
Language not location
We use the term “language” rather than “location” because at Pocket-lint we believe that’s an important distinction to make.
Our approach with our international editions won’t be to offer localised news specific to a country, but our global content available in specific languages to a global audience around the world.
Our first international edition was Portuguese. The Portuguese language is one of the most widely spoken languages of the world with an estimated 229 million people using the dialect on a daily basis.
It’s spoken around the globe well beyond Portugal, and is the official language of places like Brazil, Mozambique, Angola, Guinea-Bissau, Timor-Leste, Equatorial Guinea, Cape Verde, and São Tomé, Principe and even the Chinese autonomous territory of Macau.
Our second international edition is Spanish. The Spanish language has an estimated 483 million people using it daily across the globe. It’s spoken in homeland Spain, but also in Equatorial Guinea, 19 countries in the Americas such as Argentina, Chile, Peru, Mexico and Venezuela, and widely across other territories globally.
The third language we’ve launched is French. French is the national language of 29 countries, outside of France itself it is spoken across parts of Canada, Belgium, Switzerland as a first language and it’s widely spoken as a second language across Europe and North Africa. Bonjour, mes amis.
The fourth language we’ve launched is German. German is spoken not only in Germany but is the most widely spoken language in the European Union – ahead of Spanish, French and even English. Guten morgen.
Accessing Pocket-lint Portuguese, Spanish, French, or German
There are a number of ways you’ll be able to access our international editions.
The chances are you probably already be reading this in Portuguese, Spanish, French or German. If your browser language is set to “pt” or “pt-br” we will automatically recommend you the translated page we’ve made available in Portuguese for you to read. If your browser is set to es-es, fr-fr or de-de the same applies – we’ll show you the translated Spanish, French or German page automatically for you.
You can also check out the Portuguese edition by going to Pocket-lint.com/pt-br/ (or Pocket-lint.com/es-es/ for Spanish, Pocket-lint.com/fr-fr/ for French, Pocket-lint.com/de-de for German) or even easier still, click on the globe icon in our masthead to reveal the international edition you are after.
You’ll always be able to revert back to an English version (if you wish) and the system will remember your choice for next time.
There are a number of shortcuts that we could have taken to make this a reality a lot quicker, but that seemed futile.
Our international editions will stand as their own offering within the Pocket-lint publishing platform rather than simply offering a plug-in to translate on the fly.
We’ve worked hard to not only translate the individual articles but all functionality of the site. Whether that’s menus, navigation, and even the search, everything works as you would expect it too, and all natively to deliver a seamless experience.
We wanted the international editions to have the same features and functionality as the English edition.
Portuguese was just the first language on our list, we’ve now added Spanish, French, and German and we’re not stopping there. We’ve built a language platform within Pocket-lint Rhythm (our Content Management System) that will allow us to quickly and easily add more languages over time, all powered by our tech, AI and machine learning.
We would love to hear what languages you would like us to support next so please let us know.
We believe that tech should be enjoyed globally, no matter what language you speak. And while we can’t promise to offer every language from day one, today we’ve started breaking down those language barriers, and it’s very exciting.