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Session 4- The Future of the Global Conversation- Part 3 December 10, 2005

Posted by delal in GV05, Session 4.

Iria Puyosa – I’ve been working on project to promote the idea of having a Spanish-speaking kind of Global Voices, more on building the community of Spanish speaking brothers.. I was thinking of connecting that community to Global Voices something with translation, interviews, and polls…giving people … more efficient translation, better distribution; shared resources, building community, having personal relationships

Ethan Zuckerman – I want to say something re: how we take on projects. Pat approached us and said, ‘we’d like to do this blogamundo idea!’ and we said ‘hey, go for it’ this is how we’d like to develop collaborations around Global Voices. b/c Global Voices has 0 full-time staff, and is likely to have in the near future maybe 1 full-time staff, there’s unlikely ever to be a Global Voices program manager to take this thing forward.. Whether it’s the dream of a translation service that works within it, or a Global Voices espanyol; the weight is on your shoulders. we can find ways to collaborate, to cooperate, to give feedback. It’s also an invitation from everybody here to use this as a platform. We’ve go to some exciting things going on; great content, a great community; really this means we have a great opportunity for people to build on top of it. With that in mind I want Farid to talk about an idea he’s been playing with…and to think about different ideas we might try to do with the framework we already have.

Farid – I had an idea a few weeks back… bloglogue; a bridge b/t blogger and non-bloggers. What we do with Global Voices is fascinating; we go after other blogs, and bringing in information and translate that, provide that. What about on the demand side, people reading, participating actively I know people, communications professors, who are not blogging; but really want to participate through emails and writing them. we can create a reservoir of information, from journalists, citizenries, academics, everyone and on the other side let some cliches that people have about each other, neighbors, cultures, etc, start to debate these questions… the whole idea.

Ethan Zuckerman- one thing I think is so exciting about farid’s idea, is something that is said to me just as we took a break b/t sessions – bogs blogs blogs blogs, why do we just talk about blogs? When we started talking about Global Voices, we were talking about communication and interaction in a much more global sense. It just so happens that the first thing we did well was round up blogs form around the world. It had some great success.. but no matter how much of an advocate we are, some of the people we reach out to are not going to become bloggers; you can think of elderly relatives, people in your community who have a great deal of insight, who aren’t going to set up blogs even if you hook them up with typepad; the idea that you can open a bloglog to members of the media, whether its=’s tape recording them, copying an email with them, etc; I want to open this conversation up to other things people here are dreaming, thinking about, talking about.

Becky Hogge – I’d like to talk about something that came up with opendemocracy started using CC licenses…We wanted to really look at translation in terms of remix, so, wanting a translation-only license, a place where Global Voices could be active is, if this came about, thinking about using that kind of license. This notion of cc in a way that enables translation is something that opendemocracy could be behind…other idea, big ideas?

Tim Morley- active in the Esperanto movement the past 4 years. When I came cross Global Voices and their manifesto… bonds, conversations across boundaries half of my mind thought, yeah, that’s what I’m used to seeing, all the boxes ticked.. but then I realized, no, that’s not an Esperanto organization 🙂 It seems to be a whole group of esperantists who haven’t discovered Esperanto yet! And on the Esperanto wiki there’s already a longish list of blogs where people write in Esperanto I’m not one of them but I do read some of them… thinking long-term, if we’re talking about citizen participation, ordinary people starting blogs; if we want those to be available for real global communication, expecting it to happen in English is wildly unrealistic. The more blogs you have, if we’re going to rely on translators, the more translators you need. There has a valuable place; but there’s also a place for writing. it’s much easier to pick up and get to a good communicative level than any other language you’ve tried to study; I promise you; from learning it and teaching it. It’s spreading the load a bit; not expecting people to blog in my language to read; they’ve got to put in to some effort to learn the language; I’ve got to put in effort to read the language; we meet in the middle in wiki it’s currently 16th in # of articles… for a language that half the room hasn’t heard of, above a large # of articles; that’s quite an achievement and pledgebank.com also has an Esperanto version as of 10 days ago. So, like pledgebank, you don’t need to be afraid of being the only person to speak this language or start blogging in this language. See the globalvoices wiki… and I have some articles here about international communication. and I have some teach-yourself cds 🙂

Rebecca MacKinnon and Ethan Zuckerman- thanks for the pitch-

(Someone new speaking, but I don’t know who)the trick is so far, in listing blogs from around the world, we’ve listed by country the big question has been how else to proceed…? as a person who writes mostly about Turkmenistan, I can guarantee there’s not much of a community writing about it… maybe 1 person writing in English. The thing I try to do with my blog… mostly I translate Russian language materials. Frankly it’s not speaking about the language exchanges between bloggers we’ve been discussing so far. What I’d find useful, especially in the former ussr, is a Russian English exchange; there’d be a lot of call for a forum, not so much for translating blogs, as for an informal structure parallel to what bbc monitoring does, for example; when you look into the type of next available for Turkmenistan; What I think would be useful : creating a forum for people in central Asia, blogging either in Russian or their own language ,now wish to branch out into blogging in English think of creating an informal monitoring structure for underreported countries [turkmenistan, nkorea, etc]

Ethan Zuckerman – so there are countries where not only are there not bloggers, but if there were they would be in mortal peril…

Sharon – I want to share quickly, before I get my neck cut off. I’ve been involved with a lot of offline paper[s] a lexicon project…I wanted to share 3 quick point on it. and I have a thought/process of building on the Global Voices platform. A starting point: an int’l meeting leading group to preparing for the ’95 women’s conference. I was listening to simultaneous Chinese/English but then I was alarmed b/c I hard the English speaker say “counter-hegemonic …. reification” and I said “oh my god — what was that in chinese?” there was this moment of shock, when I looked across the room at some of my federation colleagues and said ‘huh?’ so then I picked up my headphones and started listening to the translation and I started thinking — oh my gosh; we all thinks it is an exchange. but in fact it was bizarro stuff…so I started thinking we should of a Chinese-women lexicon on internet? and law and he didn’t have funding… so we’d bootstrap. and I’d say to the women: do you speak to foreigners? have you been somewhere where they speak English? After a year I had 375 or so terms which didn’t seem to make sense when translated: gender, sexuality, family, violence, violence, homophobia…what we thought was, we’d translate some of these – so it took another year coordinating a team of 20 or so women across disciplines in china and here; all online; we were spread out without funding. I was editing/gatekeeping this whole process. I’d say – ok, one week time, ny/beijing time, sending draft suggestions for definition of gender what are Chinese translations? what don’t you like about them? In the end with as a lexicon. here are the diff translations for gender they all don’t work for the purposes of empowering b/c they’re biological… they’re weird – they don’t’ show the social contractedness of sex, which is weird, so you change it; we would keep some terms as chinglish, not really Chinese sounding terms; to carry the foreign baggage…not to masquerade as what it wasn’t we only had 175 terms; we had a split and cut date, so we decided to publish. UNSECO came in to help? Publish then there was a horrible censorship story at the end, which was pretty hilarious, in retrospect; that’s published in the journal (Chinese lexicon? dreams — rock and roll??) It’s about the ineffability of [translation]… the same questions as the discussions this morning; on validity, accuracy, reliability; is it accurate? What are we saying to each other? We want everyone involve; so it’s inclusive, but still subject to the same standards of accuracy. So then I thought, here’s an idea for access. one of the things I thought after, for the pound of flesh we paid online, etc; it wasn’t important to have the lexicon product; but we argued for a year about fundamental things; across language, discipline, culture; hk chinese, mainlinad, northern, cantonese chinese… I want to suggest one of the ideas Global Voices could do around this translation effort is to think about these key words/terms. democracy is one; really contested. use the translation process itself as a way that’s the bridge; rather than thinking its” Spanish to Chinese” “Romanian to Chinese” “Chinese to English” – the process of learning what we don’t know about contest, meaning, using that and setting up …. whatever it is technically, so we all learn a lot about each other by even the basic ‘what do you mean when you say?’ So you around the Chinese proverb of “tong chuang yi? wong?” – sleeping in the same bed, dreaming different dreams

Rebecca MacKinnon – maybe you could have translation son a wiki; so you could link to a big wiki page where you’d translate it, discuss it, argue it, about their methods and terminology…which leads to some tool making; isn’t it about time to start making some blog/wiki hybrid thing?

Ethan Zuckerman- which is a *really* long discussion. What I think the most exciting underlying point is, that we tend to think of end-result and one thing we’re sort of patting ourselves on the pack for is, the end result we’ve had over the year here; but we’ve also had process and some of them have been really hard; as we expand further, looking at the bottom line, and how many people come to the site. We should maybe think about process: how do we translate, cover one region or another, expand, do outreach? The remainder that we learn a lot form the process is a great one and I’m grateful for it.

Tagged: gv2005, globalvoices)



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