Session 3: Language and Translation

Summary: Even if you have access to the internet and blogging tools one major factor that limits global conversations are language barriers. We shall look at what could be the best way to translate back and forth so that people writing/speaking in one language can be read and heard by speakers of other languages. We’ll look at what has worked so far, what hasn’t, and explore ideas for future action to promote more communication across language groups.

.Session starts of my various GV authors and editors doing a short intro in their own language. Then focus shifts to Asia where a blogger from Taiwan explains that translation in Taiwan doesn’t’ mean that they concentrated very much on local social news. In fact there’s too much emphasis on how blogging conflicts with society. Therefore as a Taiwan blogger we have to step out to the world ourselves. So I follow the bloggers advice and I started to translate the posts from globalvoices. The first post I translated was called “from the Indonesian blogosphere”. It was about durian and at that time a plane was crashed and several important Indonesian officials were on it. The reason it crashed was because it was overloaded with durians. I translated the post and said it was — durian is a smelly but delicious food from that time I was very fascinated about so many of the GV stories.

(IMAGE: Preetam Rai – South East Asia Editor for GV presenting. PHOTO CREDIT: Jace)

I thought, yes I should do more translation for the more and more Chinese readers of the bog. I wanted more readers who only know Chinese to know about these interesting things happening. I started translating every day, after I had translated about 100 posts. I met Rebecca in Taiwan and I had a chat with her, it inspired me to set up an independent website for gv Chinese. I thought it was the best plan for the future. I asked some friend out of my readers to help me translate. I don’t know why they joined me to translate but I think it is because we all the desire to know more and to make friends and on the international news media we don’t’ know the people’s thinking and feeling and their happiness but in GV we do, and I think most of you agree. I would very much like to show you the site of our translation project. I would say there were no guidelines however things that are concerned with Taiwan and china will be translated ASAP. And something emergent like if there’s a disaster we will translate ASAP. Also if there are posts about Middle East because the situation there is very complicated but in Taiwan and the Chinese blogosphere they are seldom mentioned because at gv they are mentioned in the human side.

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Session 2 (Part 4): Outreach — Cont’d

Summary: A continuation of Session 2

Neha: I want to move on to concrete ideas. If you had to write a grant proposal for a concrete idea, how would you shape it out? what are the considerations?

Stuart Henshall: a GV fan, based in San Francisco. I spent the last 9 months and 75% of nmy time in Gurgaon. I have some perspective on what’s happening here. I’d like to point people ot mobile. what amazes me is I watch tv here, india times, the news, what’s going across the line is sms, the number; stuff like that we’re training a society to sms in their thoughts; and the mobile phones – I don’t know if it’s 5m or 10m a month. I can go into any mall and see how fast it’s exploding.

(IMAGE: Section of the audience – Dina Mehta & Peter Griffin. PHOTO CREDIT: Neha Vishvanathan)


I would suggest, if global voices says 1) we’ll take your sms, we will post it online, 2) we will send back an sms as thank you, with the url where it is. Aso capturing their # and identity, and you can start to count how many times they enter interesting info, how passionate they are about it. If you do that a bit more, you could actually move them to mms, and perhaps pay for that. I’d look to Hutch to sponsor that with free mms; I want to see more pictures on Gv. it’s a visceral gut-level thing, like LIFE in the 60s.

Neha: of course some people might not feel conmfortable abpot their identity being revealed.

Stuart: then you could ask for a simple yes/no. Giving people tools for using the voices being heard. I come from an education background; we should focus on giving things like tools for teachers so they can say ‘I’m having my students go to gv, and have them focus on brazli; what is being said in brazil. have them use this as an educational tool for their students, for different areas that do need activism, to create generations of students who are would-be activists. That’s a very low-cost way – I’m more than willing to work on writing lesson plans for something like this. one way to start a different side of outreach to find a way to collect voics and turn it into something useful. Continue reading

Session 2 (Part 3): Outreach — Cont’d

Summary: A continuation of Session 2
The panel is taking two more questions and then we’re moving to the IRC channel.

Comment by Gerard, a journalist from Hindustan Times, a major main stream media newspaper in India: I don’t know how many of you know it’s a mainstram paper. We look at stories all the time. So many news channels, TV launches; the hunger of journalists is amazing. There are educated people all around. People who know about things. If they can channel them correctly, journalists will take creative [ideas?] seriously.

(IMAGE: Rachel Rawlins jotting down quick notes during Session 2.
PHOTO CREDIT: Georgia)

Question from ange via the IRC channel: what would it take for outreach to get to what Global Voices suggestS? Are there ways to tap into global/local wifi hubs which are wide-spread across asia? like for example the WSFII Project? Can we always work with wifi or LUGs (Linux User Groups) in the area?

Neha: it is purely a networking thing; maybe that will be a way of targetting people.

Nanda: people can adopt or relate to <things>, for example, farmers can go online and trade commodities. Having accesss, there’s something called planet tree, for low iteracy in india and elsewhere.Those are two key areas.

Neha: That also brings us back to David’s question of “What’s in it for me? That’s the incentive.

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Session 2 (Part 2): Outreach — Cont’d

Summary: A continuation of Session 2

Georgia makes an announcement that a form is being passed around to be filled out by Sami about a Tunisia prison map. Neha asks Ben some questions, Fred you told us about 5 areas, is it more efficient to go to universities and talk to students? Fred answers that central asia is a mountanous region, of the 25 trips next year, 10-15 will be at universities because they have reliable internet connections. Other 10 will be with journalism centres there etc. Universities also have lots of enthusiastic young people.

(IMAGE:Georgia, Rebeeca & Ethan involved in a panel disucssion. PHOTO CREDIT: Jace)

Neha asks, “Did your outreach involve explaining just blogging? or also tackle internet connectivity / access issues?

Ben’s answers that the standard program talks of whats a blog, blogosphere … then privacy issues, freedom of speech etc.

Into the outreach session and Parmesh shahani is talking about the fact that to take over control of means of production; the kinds of stories that come out are v different form what msm reports; we hjust have to look into researching and finding. Adil mentions that whoever just said it’s about voice was right on the money. The same question the media development community dealt with for 20 years; the ict comunity dealt with for less time.

The question of “how is this relevant to me?” is posed. In India, with the Swamiinathan Foundation, there are lots of parallel issues going on. Journalists are encouraged to paty that intermeidary role; the poor and marginalized aren’t going to want to make a 5-min short film; they don’t have access to the literacy or tools to make that kind of content.

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Session 2 (Part 1): Outreach

Summary: In this session we will explore ways of expanding blogging and online/mobile citizens’ media from being an activity of the elites to include the voices of the less privileged and rural communities. We’ll start by looking at the situation in India and move on to compare it with outreach efforts in other regions.

Ben is talking about Neweurasia, the Outreach session led by Neha Viswanathan. Georgia says that they want the sessions to be interactive. There is going to be funding (fingers crossed) so if anyone has ideas please lets talk about them. Neha states that this session is dedicated to discussing outreach and we have had many discussions about whether we should look at outreach or not. When we discuss outreach, there are some questions, who are we reaching out to, what are we reaching out to, should GV directly engage or become a resournce for outreach.

(IMAGE: Neha & Ben presenting during Session 2.
PHOTO CREDIT:
Georgia)

Blogging is still and exclusive activity, need to be literate, need a good connection, versus resource. Resource is too passive. There are issues of hierarchies in blogospheres. Maybe that global voices facilitates outreach just like this IRC is facilitating my attendance – Beth Kanther via IRC channel.

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Session 1 (Part 2): An overview of GV’s work so far — Cont’d

Summary: A continuation of session 1 – a review of the year and a look at moves being made to take us ahead.

Question by Nikhil from Delhi, India: Just wondering how do you ensure that the system remains truly representative and how do you ensure there is no bias?

Answered by Ethan: We try to do this with the editors we have. Over the next year, with the aggregator there will be the opportunity to view without editing. The challenge there will be is that people can ask why didn’t the editor pick up a story and thats a dialgue we want to encourage.Dina Mehta asks a question from one of the participants via the IRC chanel

(IMAGE:Dina Mehta asking a question during Session 1, from one of the participants via the IRC chanel. PHOTO CREDIT: Jeremy Clarke)


At this point Rebecca invites editors to speak to this issue.

Georgia says, “I hired a Cuban editor who wrote to me and said she GV wasn’t covering cuba”.
David says, “I would want more people to write in to me, more communication”

Question by Bala Pitchandi from New Jersery (Via IRC): What are GV’s short tem and long term goals? And are there any plans to develop the GV networks onto other sub-projects (like a Web based Disaster Relief project)?

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Session 1 (Part 1): An overview of GV’s work so far

Summary: a review of the year and a look at moves being made to take us ahead.

Ethan is now reading the manifesto. If anyone has a problem email me at jer@simianuprising.com, they’re currently looking at globalvoicesonline.org, a picture being displayed of rebecca, georgia and alice getting the knight batten award. Slide being shown of statistics of visits to GV. 9,000 views a day last year, now 36,000, Technorati rankings are 36000 views a day. Next slide shows our sponsors, reuters, macarthur, hivos, knight. We’re now thanking sponsors.

(IMAGE: GV’s co-founders, Rebecca MacKinnon & Ethan Zuckerman introducing everyone to GV Delni 2006. PHOTO CREDIT: Jeremy Clarke)

Reuters continues to be a major supporter, MacArthur too .. and we hope they support us more this year, Hivos and Knight are others. Another slide shows Stichting Global Voices incorporating under Netherlands law. a sister ngo under US law. Board of directors includes authors and editors, the main corporate body will be international – not US, within 6 months – a dutch corp – that will be GV.

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