Mind your language

Never ceases to amaze me how the web can be searched to unearth all sorts of curios. I recently discovered several reviews of my scribblings in other languages, but there always seem to be words that don't translate. Here's a Finnish review of the paper I presented at the EDEN conference in June:

Steve Wheeler kuvasi tulevaisuuden opiskelua käsitteellä ”Nomadic Learning”, missä opiskelija vaeltaa digitaalisissa maailmoissa kehittäen omaa osaamistaan vapaasti saatavien resurssien avulla yhdessä toisten opiskelijoiden kanssa. Käytössä ovat Web 2.0:n sosiaaliset työkalut, jotka mahdollistavat rikkaan ja dynaamisen oppimisympäristön. Yliopisto-opiskelijoilta kerätyn palautteen perusteella Wiki-työkalu edellytti tavallista tarkempaa kirjoittamista, kriittistä tietoisuutta ja vahvaa keskittymistä opiskeluun. Siksi työkalu koettiin varsin vaativana ja toisten tekstin muokkaaminen nähtiin usein ongelmallisena.

I was also amazed to see that my blog from yesterday was translated into German and up on the web within a few minutes of me posting mine. It's translated as:

Lernen mit ' e: Veröffentlicht... und unzerdrückt (Learning with 'e's: Published ... and unjammed)

...and my final sentence on what my avatar is doing when I'm not in SL goes:

'Erhält mich denkend..., was meinen Avatara tun in SL tut, wenn ich nicht dort bin, ihn in der Überprüfung zu halten??' (Avatara hmm? well, ich weiss nicht...)

A recent paper I co-wrote for a Brazilian Medical journal was translated from English into Portuguese and the title now reads: 'A cultura colaborativa e a creatividade destrutiva da web 2.0: aplicativos para o ensino da medicina'. Well... I'll take their word for it, but they might be laughing at me behind my back and it could all be a load of rubbish...

One of the best things I found on the Web when I first started out was Alta Vista's Babel Fish online language translator. I know it has since been surpassed by a number of other web tools, and it often wasn't grammatically accurate, but it still made me think of Star Trek and the universal translator device. Be great to have one of those, so that I could at least understand the computer techies here at my university. Also interesting to think that 87 per cent of web pages in the known universe are in English (or an American version of it).

Now who's going to translate this blog entry?


Karyn Romeis said…
Well, I could translate it into Afrikaans for you, if you like. I could even have a go at Swedish. I suspect my childhood Zulu and Xhosa wouldn't be up to the task though, so you'll have to do without those - sorry ;-)

Jokes aside, I have encountered translations of my own blog posts into German and Dutch, which my limited exposure to those two languages has been enough to verify that they are translations of what I have written - no editorial added. The down side is that I am not able to follow or participate in the comment threads that might follow (although I confess, I haven't noticed any). What I would find interesting is what the readership figures of those translations are.

In the interests of some quantitative data for my dissertation, I have recently begun to pay attention to some of the metrics on Karyn's erratic learning journey. According to Bloglines, I only have 36 subscribers to the original English language version. Google Analytics and Performancing metrics disagree on traffic across my posts, but neither of them have me even coming close to cracking 100 a day.

My colleague, Mark Berthelemy (of Learning Conversations), insists that I am more widely read than this, but I can find no evidence of this (in spite of the fact that I occasionally get feedback from the most unexpected people who claim to read it).

So I wonder... why would anyone consider it worth their while to set up a translation of my blog posts?

Is a puzzlement.

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