The Bankwatch

Tracking the consumer evolution of financial services

Bridgeblogging – how can we eliminate language barriers?

 Stephanie focusses on a great question here at her presentation to BlogCamp in Zurich, and manages to invent a new word in the process. 

What is going on in the other languageospheres?

I know almost nothing of what’s going on in the German-speaking blogosphere. The borders on the internet are linguistic. How do we travel? There is no digital equivalent of walking around town in a foreign country without understanding a word people say. Note: cultural divides are a general problem – I’m trying to focus here on one of the components of the cultural divide: language.

Source: BlogCamp: Multilingual Blogging Session at Climb to the Stars (Stephanie Booth)

When I attended LIFT07 one of my own, small personal objectives, was to get a better sense of what was happening in Europe and compare to what I see most days, which is English speaking, and generally North American focussed.  I both succeeded and failed.  I succeeded in talking to many people, and failed, in getting a sense of the isolated nature of North America, and how far we, collectively, have to go in this regard.

Laurent made LIFT07 an English speaking conference, for practical purposes, and I was quite struck by the novel things going on as I chatted to people there.  This is natural, given different cultures, different uses of technology, and more importantly, different approaches to everything.  North Americans may (or not) be surprised to see and appreciate that the North American approach is unique in many ways.  

Since meeting (virtually, then personally) up with Laurent, I have made a point of subscribing to European blogs, French mainly, because I have not ability with any other languages (and my French is pathetic).  People like, LaurentAlex, Nicolas, Jean-Christophe and Frederic (I could go on) are refreshing, and amazing.  They do a lot of things in English, out of necessity. 

I have been able to pick up some things, and I have learned to use Google translate a lot, but realise that I need to do more of that.

Reading Stephanie’s post makes me realise, how incredibly powerful it would be, if I could press ‘publish’ and simultaneously have the post created in French, German and Swedish … whichever languages I might choose.

There is a challenge for plug-in developers.


Written by Colin Henderson

March 25, 2007 at 23:17

Posted in Uncategorized

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