One of the most difficult things when it comes to creating new websites or services is to find an appropriate name that sounds great.
Not only are all the good names taken usually, you also have to take connotation and meaning into account.
If that would not be difficult enough already, you need to make sure that the selected word or phrase has no negative meaning in foreign languages if you plan to make it available to a worldwide audience directly or at a later point in time.
Dombo might sound like a suitable name for a product until you realize that it means stupid in Dutch. If you want to make sure that a name is safe, you have to look up that name in regular dictionaries and slang dictionaries.
Failure to look up names led to funny product names such as Barf, Pee Cola or AASS Fatøl which have a safe meaning in their native language but a different one in others.
The new web service Word Safety changes that for select languages as it will check words and phrases for you to make sure they are safe to use.
To use it, simply open the Word Safety website, type a word or phrase and hit the check button afterwards. Word Safety checks the entered word against swear words and unwanted associations in 19 languages and reports its findings back to you.
Supported languages include English, German, Chinese, Italian, French, Spanish, Russian and Polish.
Each result is listed with its meaning in foreign languages, the severity of it, and the approximate native speaker count.
19 languages may not seem like much considering that there are hundreds to check, but the supported 19 languages cover almost 4 billion native speakers and all the people who understand the language on top of that.
At the very least, it saves you from checking words in those languages. Depending on the project, you may still need to look it up to make sure it has no negative connotation in unsupported languages.
Word Safety is a useful service for webmasters, companies and anyone else who is looking for a name for a website or project and wants to make sure it is safe to use. It is a great option for an initial check of words or phrases that you consider using.
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