America-China Bridge is helping to build a foundation for peace and prosperity, joining the people of America and China together. The need is critical: their great global challenges require active, committed partnership between China and America, the two largest economies.
“The Bridge is a potent symbol of joining, because it demonstrates reaching out, the unity of opposites. As leaders of business, science, culture and media from both nations, we choose friendship and co-operation. With hands joined, we can lift the world into abundance. Alone, our competition could ravage the earth. The world needs America’s commitment to freedom, to limitless youth and opportunity. The world also needs China’s deep wisdom and expansive energy, as the oldest civilization.”
Michael North, the president of the organization, explained that “key to the success of the Bridge website is smooth dual-language capability in both Mandarin (also known as “Simplified Chinese”) and English. This is made possible by the powerful tools offered by WPML, and by support from ICanLocalize. With a single click, the languages switch back and forth; try it at http://www.americachinabridge.com (the primary language is Chinese).”
During an interview with Michael he also said that although The Bridge has its own team of translators, they make use of ICanLocalize services when there’s an overflow of work. “Recently on a business trip to Beijing, we had a complex technical and financial document in Chinese that had to be quickly translated into professional English and sent back to our clients in the United States. Our existing translators were already working on other projects, so we submitted the job to ICanLocalize. Within a few hours, a qualified translator 8,000 miles away in San Francisco was on the job; within 36 hours we had our time-critical material, which needed only minor touchups before presentation to our client. Everything went fine. The work was on time and on budget,” he said.
It was difficult to get Chinese characters to display correctly at first within WPML, but he worked with WordPress and WPML support teams and the issues were resolved. The key, by the way, is correctly specifying the use of the full UTF (Universal Translation Format) character set at three levels: the server OS, the MySQL database, and WordPress. The full directive is <meta http-equiv=”Content-Type” content=”text/html;charset=UTF-8″ />
WPML, in combination with ICanLocalize, is the ideal solution for the needs of this growing website. A team of translators, working around the world in every time zone, can easily segment a big job, work on individual projects, and add the Chinese or English translations. A log is kept of all changes made, by whom, and exactly when; site developers can roll back to earlier versions if needed. Michael also stated: “For future projects, the Bridge is looking forward to implementing the Glossary feature developed by iCanLocalize, in order to standardize the use of unusual technical or business terms.”
“In recent years, China has learned quickly from America’s power in high technology and finance. America is eager to grasp China’s culture and ancient philosophy. We are both student and teacher to each other; we enrich each other with youth and wisdom.”
ICanLocalize and WPML contributed to the construction of this Bridge, to this mutual enrichment! To achieve the goal of joining the people of America and China, a bilingual website is an absolute requirement.
The site attracts many visitors, both American and Chinese. Many people who are bilingual enjoy reading both versions, and students use the translations as expert guidelines. Everyone else — people who read just English, or just Chinese — gets all the information they need in their own language, bringing the two cultures closer together.