Tuesday, March 4, 2008

Translation of Facebook

Am I a pesimist or what? This news report (and probably most people who is informed about this) is saying that is it such a cool thing. But is it really?
How many social networks are theour out there? I have no idea. But they have grown as mushroons in rainy season. And I have no idea either of why they are so popular (I might be getting old...). Besides from the game Facebook is now featuring, I don't see much to do at those sites.

1500 volunteers translating the whole site into Spanish. Sounds great, huh? But as a native Spanish speaker, I am quite disappointed at the level of that translation.
Out of curiosity, I wanted to be part of that volunteering team. I wanted to know how that translation was being carried out.
There was a text (a sentence) to be translated. You did it as best as you could, just as others were doing. Then, volunteers voted on the accuracy of that translation. I guess the one with most vote was the one Facebook was going to keep.
So far, so good. But who are these volunteers? Are the native speakers? Are they advanced students?
I am very skeptic about democracy, and here it didn't work as well as expected. There is still need for some kind of moderation. People who think are good enough to do the translation is voting too. And from what I saw, they are majority.

Yes, it keeps me wonder how the German translation will be.

Of course, I was not into it deeply, so if anybody who actually participated in the Spanish translation or is participating in the German translation and sees things in a different way (or with what actually goes on and not from an outsider's perspective), it'd be nice to be corrected by you.

Sunday, March 2, 2008

RAFTS technique

RAFTS (and acronym standing for Role, Audience, Format, Topic, Strong verb) is a system to help students understand their role as a writer, the audience they will address, the varied formats for writing and the expected content.

Role of the writer: Who are you as a writer?
Audience: To whom are you writing?
Format: What form will the writing take?
Topic: What is the subject or the point of this piece?

Its purpose is to give students a fresh way to think about approaching their writing.