DPM's diary: 10 October 2006

News

DPM's diary: 10 October 2006

C P Bound

Weekly round up of events at Bodcaster City Council

Monday

Normally the political dimension inherent in working in local government has little impact upon us in IT. Most local councillors are so decrepit and stupid that they have no idea what we do. We give them laptops and wire them in at their homes, but they have no idea what to do with them.

One rang the helpdesk last year to ask if we could take his computer away. He said he didn't want to go digital as he was still using VHS tapes. Now, though, politics are starting to have an impact.

At the last main elections, there was a bit of surprise when the biggest party returned was Plaid Cymru. Especially surprising, really, when you consider that Bogcaster is centrally located in England and has no great tradition of leek growing or male voice choirs.

Anyway, Plaid Cymru won a by-election last Thursday and now has an absolute majority. The new administration tends to be younger and is definitely interested in IT.

Tuesday

Meeting with the new Council Leader, Llewellyn ap Hywel ap Rhodri, with Alun Evans from desktop support (the only Welsh speaker in the department) translating. The first thing we must do, it seems, is to bilingual, especially on the website.

We have already put "Croeso y wefan Cyngor Bogcaster" on the home page, but that it seems is not enough. Everything must be in both Welsh and English.

I pointed out that when we did a survey of the city residents last year, Welsh was recorded as being spoken by only three people. There are 17 more widely spoken languages in the city and we needed, I suggested, to be fair to all minorities. This was a mistake.

Wednesday

Joe, our webmaster, was not amused when I told him we must present all parts of the site in 18 different languages. Some, like French, Spanish, Mandarin and Welsh, are reasonably well supported by automated translator engines, but one is so obscure that we can't find any products out there. We will need to go out to tender to get a bespoke software solution.

Thursday

Gwasanaethau Ar-lein: Mae Cyngor Bogcaster yn cynnig nifer o wasanaethau y gellir eu cwblhau ar-lein.

Friday

Advert published for someone to write our missing language translation.

So, me old china, do have a butcher's and then pop down the frog to the rub-a-dub where I will be waiting to receive your proposal for a cockney rhyming slang language engine.





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