Orkut in Portuguese

Wednesday, April 06, 2005
letter from the editor
Wednesday, April 06, 2005

A New Day, A New Language

If you've ever been to another country that uses a different language, you know that getting around can be frustrating. The signs and maps look like they're upside down or twisted around. What city am I in? What train do I board? Is that a restroom or a telephone booth?

For some people, visiting orkut.com was that very trip. Every day promised a new journey, full of strangers to meet. The only problem was that all the signs were in one language, making the experience confusing for those who did not read it.

Until yesterday.

Thanks to months of hard work by the engineers at orkut, the user interface of orkut.com can now be viewed in . . . drum roll, please . . . Portuguese. That means you can now change the language of the tabs at the top of the page, the buttons you click, the description under your name, etc.

Many of our Brazilian members have already made the switch. (Click here to find out how.) Frankly, we were shocked at how quickly the change was noticed and put into use.

A major Brazilian online news service wrote a story about the new feature within an hour of its launch. Communities sprouted up on orkut dedicated to this very change. The feedback was plentiful, as were the compliments and constructive critiques.

We hope the benefits of this translation are many as well, including little ones that might escape notice. For instance, when two people put each other on their crush list, but speak different languages, the crush notification will be sent in the receiver's preferred language.

The work of allowing a user interface translation for an entire site like orkut.com requires months of programming. It was the engineers' goal to make orkut easier and more fun to use. You asked for it, and they delivered. And believe me, they are working day and night (and following mornings) behind the scenes, responding to your other concerns about orkut. This is just one of the more noticeable changes.

Stay beautiful,
Gavin Tachibana

Catholics and non-Catholics around the world continue to mourn the death of Pope John Paul II. Countries have paid their respects in different ways. Speculation abounds on who the next pope will be. And polls show, at least in the United States, that a majority of Catholics want the next pope to support changes such as allowing the usage of birth control, permitting priests to marry, and having a less-strict policy on stem cell research.

If you would like to share your thoughts on the life of Pope John Paul II and the next choice of pope, please write to us at letters@orkut.com. We will publish a selection of letters in this space.