Today is Francophonia Day. About 50 French-speaking countries and territories, some belonging to the Organisation Mondiale de la Francophonie and others not, will reflect on what it means to have French as a language –often alongside others. (Not to worry we will tell you what the bloggers said as soon as they've said it.)
At Global Voices, this day has special significance as well. One year ago, I was barely getting my feet wet as a novice Francophonia Editor, translating into English blurbs from the blogs of French-speaking countries who don't get much coverage in other media. Today as Global Voices Lingua team leader, I and wonderful francophones like India-based Haitian blogger Pascale Doresca, French journalist and Le Monde contributor Claire Ulrich and Malagasy blogger and GV author Lova Rakotomalala have been translating in the other direction, i.e. from English to French at Global Voices en Français. The goal is to bring more and more Francophones online into the global conversation. By translating Global Voices content into French, we hope to do just that.
See for yourself, the Global Voices en Français site is a work in progress but volunteer translators have been generating French-speaking GV content for Francophones for over a month. If you are a French-English bilingual, please contact us to join the team at francophonia [at] globalvoicesonline [dot] org.
Flashback. Inspired by Global Voices Latin-America Editor David Sasaki's workshop on GV and language at the GV 2006 Summit in Delhi, a group of francophone bloggers approached Global Voices co-founders Ethan Zuckerman, Rebecca MacKinnon and Portnoy Zheng about starting a Francophone GV page similar to Portnoy's then year old GVO China site over lunch at Delhi Day 2. Other language communities expressed interest and Project Lingua was born.
Lingua, which is still in its infancy, brings you more than just GV en Français. It comes in:
-Chinese (simplified) https://zh.globalvoicesonline.org/hans/
-Chinese (traditional) https://zh.globalvoicesonline.org/hant/
Please join me and the whole Lingua team by contributing your language skills to any of the above groups. For Bangla, contact Rezwan Islam at i_rezwan[at]hotmail[dot]com. For Chinese contact Leonard at romleonard[at]gmail[dot]com. For Portuguese contact José Murilo Junior at portuguese[at]globalvoicesonline[dot]org. For Russian contact me at francophonia[at]globalvoicesonline[dot]org as we are looking for an energetic person to run that group. For Spanish, contact David Sasaki at osopecoso[at]gmail[dot]com.
Francophonia Day is truly a multilingual day for us at Global Voices.