Global Voices Podcast: Bridging the Language Gaps

This post is part of our special coverage Languages and the Internet.

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Hello World!

In this edition of the Global Voices Podcast we discuss languages that are hard to find on the internet. Do you speak a language that is hard to find online? Are you from a place where your mother tongue is not widely spoken? Then you may be a part of large number of people around the world who speak and write “under-represented languages”. We also look forward to the 11 Eleven Project on 11/11/11.

New dialogue on preserving languages on the internet

The good news is that here on Global Voices, we are seeking news ways for people to use citizen media to strengthen and enjoy under-represented and indigenous languages. Eddie Avila is the director of Global Voices project, Rising Voices. He told me how he came to explore this subject and how he is working with New Tactics for Human Rights and others to get the discussion going.

In our interview Eddie mentions the amazing work of Kevin Scannell. Kevin is a professor of mathematics and computer science at St. Louis University in Missouri, USA. He told us how he got into the field of mapping Indigenous tweets and micro-blogs around the world.

Phones to help solve India's language challenge

Using a mobile phone to access the web in an under-represented language is still less than simple. But the internet is filled with people who are willing to take on challenges like this to make our digital world a more inclusive place. One of our Global Voices authors Aparna Ray pointed me in the direction of Shubhranshu Choudhary who works with CG Net Swara, a community radio on mobile phones in India. He explained how this service helps people who do not communicate in more widely spoken languages.

A Quechua language podcast

There are many really interesting initiatives online that can help us all explore under-represented languages online. Christine Mladic is the program administrator at the centre for Latin American and Caribbean studies at New York University and is involved with a podcast series called Rimasun that highlights and makes use of the Quechua languages.

A day to remember

As this is the November edition of the Global Voices Podcast, it means we are just ahead of the date, 11/11/11. This is also special day for anyone participating in the 11 Eleven Project. Danielle Lauren is the creative director and she explained what is about to happen and how we can all get involved.

Some of the people of Earth that Danielle mentions are also Global Voices authors, and ambassadors for the Eleven Eleven project, so I asked Salman Latif in Pakistan and Lalatiana Rahariniaina from Madagascar to share their hopes for the day.

We're also on…

That’s all we could fit into the podcast for this time. But there is good news! The Global Voices podcast is now available in brand new ways! If you are interested in public radio sharing, then you might want to listen via PRX. If you would also like to hear longer cuts and clips of our guests in interview, then you can follow us now on SoundCloud. Share your world with us so that we can share it back with you!

Music credits

In the podcast you can hear lots of lovely Creative Commons music. If you want to find out more about these artists here are the links for you. Thanks to Orb Gettarr for the atmospheric Return of the Atlanteans Lemurian Candidate, to Mark Cotton for his Spiritualized Homage, to Superbus feat. NS for Fujjad! Most of the music was found via OpSound.Org, The Free Music Archive or direct from the artists. Thanks also to all of the wonderful voice over performances and clips that help to glue the podcast together.

Global Voices Podcast HomepageSubscribe in iTunes


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