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Instructables needs international character (letters) support!!!!! Answered

Instructables currently does not support a lot characters from other languages. If you use a character from another language, instructables simply replaces it with some letters and symbols. Since the only other language I use here is spanish, I can only say this has happened to me when writing in spanish. The problem is, that without these characters (like diacritics and a certain spanish letter), many spanish sentences cannot be properly written, therefore altering its meaning. This problem has made it very difficult to use spanish in the site. Is it possible that the staff can do anything about this? Also, if anyone has experienced this problem in another language, please write it in this thread.


Well, this site is generally English. Personally, I'd be very disappointed to find an instructable I couldn't do because I couldn't understand the language it was written in. This site is based in English and it should stay that way!! Viva la AMERICA!

America isn't only United States you jerk. Spanish is actually spoken even more than english, if you didnt know.

The reason for other languages in instructables, is to make it more widely known.

I have to say, that comment really pissed me off.

Good. But the main Language spoken in the United States in English. Personally, and hope I'm not offending anyone here, If you're going to come to the United States, learn English. And as far as I'm concerned, Puerto Rico isn't the US because you're not taxed like the rest of us Americans. Good, it makes for better debates.

  • Puerto Rico isn't US - Right. I never said it was.
  • because you're not taxed like the rest of us Americans. - Wrong in 2 ways:

1) We do pay taxes, but its different in a way, I'm not sure how it works

2) There you go again with the Americans being just US. America is North, Central, and South!

America is notjust United States!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

But people in the US are called Americans!

I said, that america isnt just United States. Most people refer to you as americans, because you are the most powerful nation in america

Okay, lets turn to a good resource, not just one's own views.

First, I ran to Wikipedia to confirm that revering to the US as "America" wasn't totally crazy. The disamb. page has the following to say:
"America usually means either:
The Americas, the lands and regions of the Western hemisphere
The United States of America, a country in the Americas"

Okay, so I'm not crazy. You both have your points. Now for a definative source: the Oxford English Dictionary. "America" is oddly absent, so in lieu I chose "American".
"1. a. Belonging to the continent of America. Also, of or pertaining to its inhabitants.
b. American language (usu. with the),
(i) a language of American Indians;
(ii) American English (see sense 3). Also American tongue.
2. a. Belonging to the British colonies in North America (obs.).
b. Belonging to the United States.
c. U.S. spec. (See quot. a1861.)
3. a. Special Combs. American bar"

So, the OED doesn't seem to care how its used country/contient wise.

Keith-Kid: is it really that hard? Chooseausername's developed a method for french: capitalize any letter that should have had an accent.

Extended ASCII test: ñ

Anyway, maybe I could whip up a GM script to fix character encodings ;-)

Some characters do work if you use ASCII code: ñ

You're right, there are other ways to write the characters, but I meant that I would like it if I could just write like I normally do, Instead of having to resort to using codes for some characters.

I know that it works:

  • ñ (& n t i l d e ;)
  • and capitalized Ñ ( & N t i l d e )

Yes, it is unwieldy for sure. still, it will be very limiting IF say an instructable is in one less universal language and not translated. Still there are times when they are useful even if not writing in "another language" For instance: in the name Schroëder

um.....I did not understand even one bit of that comment........Sorry....


Yes, it is unwieldy (awkward, inconvenient) for sure.

Sill, (posting instructables in different languages) with out translations into English will limit a large number of people from understanding them.
It would be useful to be able to use the other "letters" when one must post a word or name, like Schroëder, or more common: Schrödinger (and his cat - quantum physics)

Ah! Thank you! I'm not very fluent in Goodhart....

;-) I grew up reading his column in both EDN and in Nuts n Volts magazines.

I even wrote to him a few times, won a book in one of his contests, and got some advice on an electronic device I was building at the time (I have the letter still, somewhere).

He's a cool guy ( I subscribed online to Peese Porridge when I found it.... ) I had gotten Popular Electronics when it was still available.

£ Blimey, I could not get that to work yesterday to save my soul.....I must have been looking at an incorrectly formated ASCII table.

Well, the most important thing is diacritics (see pic 1) words can have multiple meanings depending on whether it does or does not have this symbol, and which part of the word it is located. Usually, this simple symbol can change the entire meaning of a sentence.

The other thing is this character (see pic 2). Its very important, because its used in words like kids (or children) and other common words


Yes, as is the same w/ French. But is there a big difference between individual accent marks? As long as you're recognising that one exists, you can usually extrapolate.

That's what chooseausername does, and I think its a smart system.

Es there thet beg e deffference between vewels? Ef yee knew thet there es meent te be ene there yee cen eseelle extrepelete. Thet deesn't de enetheng fer the reedebelete ef whet yee ere wreteng, theegh. Yuo cloud sya teh smae tignh aoubt miovng anorud lrteets in teh mdlide of wodrs.

You could make the argument that it's hypocritical for the site to request proper spelling and not provide a facility for proper spelling to be possible in Spanish or other common languages. I won't, because I understand there are technical issues and so on, but I don't agree with the anglocentric viewpoint that "it's primarily an USA-based english-speaking site therefore thou shalt use only english".

I don't see the problem with Instructables written only in non-English, or (even better) parallel translations- the entirely non-English ones I will either not read or automagically translate. If it's a choice between an Instructable in Spanish or no Instructable, it's not a difficult choice is it? Might even get some single language speakers broadening their linguistic horizons- nothing gets you learning a language better than reading something you find interesting, in a foreign language.

(By the by, the only site I can think of that decrees the language that posts should be made in is Conservapedia- if I had the nerve to write "flavour", as it is spelt in my language, it would be edited out and I would face the banhammer. Let's not be Conservap(a)edia.)

Exactly: the DB's encoding (I'm assuming) is the source of this frustration. That would not be easy to change.

> Chooseausername's developed a method for french: capitalize any letter that should have had an accent.

Yes, but that does not help automatic-translators like babelfish, and this makes, thus, the language even more "closed" to peoples who don't speak it.

Well then,

Well, this site is generally English. Personally, I'd be very disappointed tofind an instructable I couldn't do because I couldn't understand the languageit was written in.

This site is based in English and it should stay that way!!
Viva la {United States!}!

And as far as I'm concerned, Puerto Rico isn't the US because you're not taxed like the rest of us {United States Citizens}.

First of all, we do pay taxes. I'm not sure how your taxes work. But I believe the difference is this:

While (feel free to correct me on this) I think you pay 2 kinds of taxes, we only pay 1, because we are not part of US, but we are under your protection. If I am right, please tell me what those 2 kinds are, so I can find out which is the one we pay.

But they're not the same taxes. And if you live in the United states, than why should your taxes be any different than ours?

Because we are not a state. Listen, US protects us, but they dont exactly have to. So basically, to avoid another burden on them. we're a half-state.

erm.....explaining this tuff is really hard......a good reference website or book would be the best.......

So you're not part of America. This site is based in America and most of it's users are based in America. So why should we have any instructables or even forum topics in Spanish? If the majority of our users wouldn't be able to read it, then why put it here? Therefore, we don't need International Characters.

A goodly portion of the posters and instructablers here are from the UK....

But MOST Instructables are in the United States. That and the fact that a lot (If not all, I know nothing of the UK) of the users from the UK can speak English.

I am not sure I would say that. Most of the frequent posters definately speak English, some if only as a second or third language....

But most of the instructables users are located in the US or any other English speaking Country.

Why must we have it "either/or". It would make it easier on many people, so why not have it both ways? In other words, an instructable in Spanish (as an example only) would also be translated into English. As long as you are not doing the translations, why would that ruffle your feathers? «

BTW, I'm translating Adrian Monk's (girl) Spongebob cake Ible to spanish. Just thought I'd let you know.

Cool. I do wish I had learned Spanish, instead of the ( very little) German I did in School. To be honest, I have a hard time translating some of the "English" written here by those residing in the USA......into ENGLISH LOL

hahahhahahahhaha, "you crazy!"

Sorry, yogurts normally advertise that they have "active cultures" within them....and bumpus mentioned "culture wars", yogurts that battle each other, the cultures....its a pun :-)

It wouldn't; if there were translations. Heck, I'd be happy with an sp.instructables.com and have all of the spanish stuff there. As long as there is an English translation I'd be happy.

Errr many people in the UK now are foreigners, they speak a huge variety of languages, one of the loacal churches gives extra sermons in polish... Also the damn pound sign never works on this site... in example £ everytime you edit a post an extra symbol is added, annoying in unpublished 'ibles. There are also Irish speaking people, welsh speaking people, ulster scots, granted that's just scottish... Also skate, americans aren't the be all end all, you main language isn't yours, but it's also a bit of a farce because there are alot of other languages there, many places have the main language of spanish or anything else... Also it's pretty bloody closed minded, when you realise there are 'iblers everywhere, there's quite a few in china or japan, I've seen or was it taiwan, maybe all of them but there are a good few dutch people here, in fact there are people from almost everywhere...

Also the damn pound sign never works on this site...

Um, you mean this one? £ LOL (sorry)