djafifa: (Default)
2014-03-12 04:43 am

The importance of technical context for effective translation

My translation task mostly involved converting a series of "strings" from English to Jamaican English or Patois. Strings are instructions or responses that the computer will give based on operations or functions performed by the user. The translation file list the strings in some kind of order as you translate it becomes apparent, but it is not immediately apparent what the order is or it is difficult to see how the strings connect to the big picture. This is where understanding context becomes important and my question for doing translation work begins.
In approaching translation the way we did. There is one important assumption that are been made. That is; translation is done by taking one word and converting it to another word. This assumption can be problematic when you consider the following:

Would i use different words if i were given a picture of the broader context? For example how the instructions/strings were created? what the assumptions were of the interactions between the machine, the system and the user?

Could translation be improved if there was interaction between the developers and the translator.

It seems to me that at the point where the translation starts there is also an assumption that the "technical" originates from the language being translated. that there is no technical in "translation" language.

Removing the context from translation overlooks the power of words and that words only have meaning in certain context.
djafifa: (Default)
2013-12-12 03:50 pm

di road turns

My research on ICT4D has taken a very interesting turn. During my research my view of technology as i heard it being talked about and saw it operate was cynical- this is the best word that comes to mind. By cynical i mean doubtful of what i was told technology would create for us in the way of progress or development or just what it was suppose to mean. I saw the latest cell phones were there was not a regular supply of electricity. I saw 3G phones/devices where there were maority CDMA networks. I generally felt that we were getting a bit ridiculous in Jamaica and taking the technology thing too far. I have always felt that i was living in a time when we were just putting the cart before the horse.

I looked at the E-Learning project (introduction of computers into schools to improve student performance) with a very critical eye and saw how technology was imposed to create a miracle.

My understanding of technology is now changing as a result of a few events.

1. The Politics of Open Source Software

Matthew McNaughton ( Executive Director of the Slashroots foundation in Jamaica) had mentioned to me that he had done research for his first degree on open source software in Cuba.Looking specifically at how Open Source Software could democratize development. I was fascinated by the concept of how by using open source software individuals and governments were countering the dominant narrative of innovation and development and creating their own space and terms.

2. A Problematic installation of Windows 7 on my computer forces me to install and work with Ubuntu. Launching me head on into the world of Free and Open Source Software with a new level of commitment.

3. Working as Programme Mananger for Code for the Caribbean Programmme stimulates my interest in the technical aspects of techhnology, coding and designing and forces me to explore Linux more.

4. An exploration of the presense/absence of women in technology after a bad day at work leads to me finding FLOSSIE. a collective of women based in England that explore Open Source and hardware.

5.Watching a series of lectures on Youtube about the Flossie Movement and Linux.

6. Discovering the FOSS OPW internship for women applying to translate the Debian installer in Patios/Jamaican English and getting accepted.

All of these recent events have led me to see;

1. how community can be created around technology

2. There are alternative cultures all over the world that are not capitalist and oppressive but about creating cultures of sharing community access and innovation.
djafifa: (Default)
2013-12-12 11:33 am
Entry tags:


(These post are delayed. I have a wierd relationship with machines. I am writing all the time but in my book first then on the machine. it feels better and it flows more. I date all my entries in my book.)

i will begin my journey here even though it is not where it began. They announced the interns today and i am one of them. An intern with Debian in the Gnome Outreach Programme for Women. It means alot and I am too excited to think. But i am thinking and thoughts are running through my mind. I think what excites me most is the community. I am joining a community of people who care about technology, making things. Debian is apart of the Linux community. I think my first lesson is community.

What is community?
How do you build it? Sustain it?
How is technology doing this?
Why is linux doing this?

At the same time i am thinking about the Debian project i am thinking about the research project on activist cultures i will be starting next year. Both are connected and this is why i say my first lesson is community.

women in community