Launched in March 2011, at a time of increasing hardships and intense international criticism for Greece due to the dramatically unfolding financial crisis, Global Voices in Greek reached 1,000 published translations of Global Voices posts on February 8, 2012 – in just a little over 10 months.
A team of more than 20 volunteer translators, most of whom are young journalists, professional translators and activists, have been working together to bring to Greek speakers a selection of news from around the world.
The project affords its community the opportunity to expose Greek-speaking audiences to a wide range of stories and perspectives from around the world. This is especially pertinent at a time when the financial crisis is gripping people's minds and hearts, and when mainstream media, embroiled in a chronic crisis of credibility besides the financial one, are “downsizing” their coverage of all issues except those directly serving their financial needs.
The first translation in Greek was of John Liebhardt's post “Libya: Mourning Mohammed Nabbous” by Alexia Kalaitzi on March 21, 2011; it was a fitting tribute to an iconic fallen citizen journalist. The 1,000th translation was of Silvia Viñas’ post “Chile: NGO Report Reveals Increase in Sex Crimes“, translated by Veroniki Krikoni.
The top 5 posts in terms of number of hits so far have been:
- North Korea: Images Reveal Scale of Political Prison Camps
- Zambia: Porn Video Sparks Debate on Gender, Culture and Morality
- Spain: Thousands of People Take the Streets
- Featured Author and Translator: Asteris Masouras
- Thailand: Outrage Over Topless Teen Dancing
The post on the North Korea prison camps also leads keyword search results, followed by the post on Mohammed Nabbous. Leila Nachawati's first story on the Spanish indignados protestors was a groundbreaking top result (the 217 hits on the following day is our ‘all time record’), as Greek protest0rs quickly followed their example.
The top five translators by number of posts were Asteris Masouras, Veroniki Krikoni, Alexia Kalaitzi, Mirto Dimitrakoulia and Margie Lazou. Unsurprisingly, given the historic uprisings it witnessed in 2011, the Middle East and North African region was the most popular, followed by Latin America and Southeast Asia.
‘Citizen media’ was naturally included as a subject in almost all posts translated, followed by ‘Politics’ (435), ‘Protest’ (298), ‘Human rights’ (273), ‘Digital activism’ (230) and ‘Freedom of speech’ (194).
April through July 2011 were the most productive months of the Global Voices in Greek project, all exceeding 100 posts (169 in June), with September the least productive (46). Almost half of the posts translated (448) were full length articles, as opposed to paragraph-long news updates.
Global Voices in Greek has had 18,297 visits and 38,610 pageviews since its inception. Incredibly, hits seem to have come from 918 cities around the world! Diaspora Greeks are spread across the world, and spambots probably account for many of those exotic hits, but the number is still incredible, and hopeful.
Visitors, however, predominantly come from Greece (74%), with a 6% from Cyprus and a smattering of ~2% from the UK, US and neighboring Macedonia. Forty percent of users have Greek as the default language installed on their computers, which means 60% of visitors are multilingual, including Greeks (English has been extremely popular as second language in Greece in recent decades).
Social media is very effective in promoting our work, although 26% of web referrals come from Global Voices itself. An impressive 25% from Twitter, while 16% come from Facebook. Meanwhile, cyprusnews.eu, a Cyprus-based news aggregator directs a hefty 13.1% of referral traffic to the site.
Among sibling projects, Global Voices French and Spanish direct most referral traffic, for which fact we're grateful to both communities. All translations are automatically posted to Facebook and manually to Twitter, while a Google+ page also exists. We would welcome reader suggestions to improve social media use, and you can also follow our translators on Twitter.