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How to translate RSS feeds

Use Yahoo Pipes to subscribe to any feed in any language.

I heard about a German Web 2.0 blog today: Zweinull. Reading it in translation (thank you, BabelFish), it occurred to me that I should add this site's RSS feed to my blog reader (Netvibes). But how to get the site's feed in English?

BabelFish wouldn't do it. (It gave me an entertaining error message, though: "Insane value.") I was initially encouraged when I used Google Translate, which did in fact give me a version of the blog's XML page in English. But I couldn't subscribe to it. Then I found David Rothman's advice: Use Yahoo Pipes.

It worked. It's not as easy as using a one-step translation service, but it's worth the effort for reading blogs you think you might like that are not in your language. I'll walk through a demo of translating Webware into French. Here's what you do:

Step 2: Drag the Fetch item

Step 1: Launch Yahoo Pipes

Fire up Yahoo Pipes. You might have to log in to your Yahoo account first. Select "Create a pipe" from the top navigation.

Step 2: Get the Feed item

In the left-hand nav on Pipes, under the Sources menu, the first item is Fetch Feed. Drag that onto your Pipes workspace. In the Fetch Feed box, paste in the URL of the blog's RSS feed.

Step 3: Get the Translate item

In the left nav again, click the right arrow for the Operators section, then find the the BabelFish item and drag it into your workspace. Select your translation from the dropdown list.

Step 4: Connect

Step 4: Connect them together

Connect the elements together: Click and drag form the connector circle under Fetch Feed to the top of BabelFish, and from the bottom of BabelFish to the top of Pipe Output. (The Pipe Output item was created automatically when you dragged the first item into the workspace.)

Step 5: Save and test

Press Save on the top of your page and give your creation a name. This one is called Webware en Francais. Now click Run Pipe to test it. You should see a list of blog items in your chosen output language. You can edit the pipe's description at this point, if you wish.

Step 6: Subscribe to your new feed

Step 6: Et voilá! A translated feed.

To get the RSS feed of this translated blog, click Subscribe. This will let you subscribe in several popular readers or give you the HTML address of your new feed to put into whatever feed reader you want.

Success! (I hope)

You're done! But you can do one more useful thing: Make your translated feed available to others. Just click Publish. You might want to add a few tags to make it more findable, too. Then anyone will be able to search for and use your new Pipe, and also modify it or mash it up to make another one. If anyone knows of a simpler way to translate a feed and subscribe to it, please post it here.