Interviewed About Multilingualism by Andrea Vascellari [en]

[fr] Une interview qui date de novembre, mais que je ne regarde qu'aujourd'hui (à ma grande honte). Andrea Vascellari m'a attrapée à Berlin lors de Web2.0Expo, et m'a interviewée sur les questions de multilinguisme en ligne que j'affectionne. Il a ajouté au début une petite partie sur Going Solo, donc si vous avez déjà vu mon discours donné à LIFT, sautez sans arrière-pensée les premières trois minutes de la vidéo. La suite est nouvelle, je vous rassure!

At Web2.0Expo in Berlin, last November, I met [Andrea Vascellari]( He’s Italian, lives in Finland, and does a regular video podcast on [Vascellari Media Channel — VMC]( I was [speaking on multilingualism at Web2Open](, so we sat down in a corridor (we thought it would be nice and quiet, but we picked a spot just near… the loo/bathroom/restroom/toilets) for a little chat on the topic of [languages online](/focus/multilingual).

Upon editing, Andrea added a few words about [Going Solo]( and inserted my [speech]( about it — so if you already saw [the LIFT08 speech](, feel free to skip the first 3-4 minutes. There’s a whole bunch of new material waiting for you after it.

[VMC #30, where Andrea introduces Going Solo and makes me talk about multilingualism online]( Andrea clearly knows the art of making his guest look good — thanks a lot!

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Reminder: Speaking Tuesday at Web2Open, Berlin [en]

[fr] Je présente une session sur le multilinguisme ici à Berlin, à l'occasion de Web2Open, mardi (demain!) à 10h10.

Just a reminder: I’ll be giving my talk [Waiting for the Babel Fish: Languages and Multilingualism]( Tuesday (tomorrow as of writing) at [10:10 during Web2Open]( at the Web2.0Expo in Berlin.

I also put together (for the occasion, but I’d been wanting to do it for a long time) a page entirely devoted to [my work about languages and multilingualism on the internet](/focus/multilingual). This is the first page of the [Focus series](/focus/) which will showcase some of my work and the areas I’m currently active in.

For those of you who’ve been intrigued by [this twitter of mine]( I’m going to make you wait a little more — but if we bump into each other at Web2.0Expo, don’t be shy to ask me about it!

**Update:** here’s the slideshow! Slightly upgraded since the [last incarnation of this talk at Google](

Thanks to all those of you who came. I got lost on the way so arrived late — my apologies to any of you who might have been there on time and left before I arrived.

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Another Multilingual Talk Proposal (Web 2.0 Expo, Berlin) [en]

[fr] Une proposition de conférence sur le multilinguisme et internet, pour Web 2.0 Expo à Berlin en novembre. J'ai un peu laissé passer le délai, mais advienne que pourra.

I’m sending in a (very late) talk proposal for [Web 2.0 Expo, Berlin]( Here’s the description I sent them, for my personal records, mainly. We’ll see what happens.

**Title:** Waiting for the Babel Fish: Languages and Multilingualism

**Short description:** Languages are the new borders of our connected world, but our tools make them stronger than they have to be. Most people are multilingual: how can language-smart apps help us out of the Internet’s monolingual silos?

**Full description:** The Internet is the ideal space to reach out to a wide public. However, if geographical boundaries are non-existent, linguistic barriers are all the more present.

Localization is a first step. But though most people and organizations recognize the necessity of catering to non-English audiences, some assumptions on how to do it need to be challenged. For example, countries and languages do not overlap well. Also, most people do not live and function in exclusively one language.

However necessary, localization in itself is not sufficient in getting different linguistic communities to emerge from their silos and mingle.

Multilingual spaces and tools will weaken the linguistic borders by allowing multilingual people of varying proficiency to act as bridges between communities otherwise incapable of communicating.

Till today, unfortunately, our tools are primarily monolingual even when correctly localized, and multilingualism is perceived as an exception or a fringe case which is not worthy of much attention — when in fact, most human beings are multilingual to some extent.

**Previous incarnations:** for the record again, previous incarnations of this talks (or, to put it slightly differently, other talks I’ve given about this topic):

– [BlogCamp ZH](, March 2007 (with video)
– [Reboot9](, June 2007
– [Google](, July 2007 (with video)

**Speaker blurb:** Stephanie Booth lives in Lausanne, Switzerland and Climb to the Stars,
The Internet. After a degree in Indian religions and culture, she has
been a project manager, a middle-school teacher, and is now an
independant web consultant. More importantly, she’s been bilingual
since she could talk, has lived in a multilingual country since she
was two, and been an active web citizen in both English and French
since she landed online in the late 90s.

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Talk: Languages on the Internet at Google [en]

[fr] Demain, je donne une conférence à Google sur le thème du traitement des langues sur internet.

Tomorrow 2pm I’ll be giving a talk at Google (thanks for the invitation, [Kevin]( about languages on the internet. It will be an updated version of the [“While We Wait For The Babel Fish” talk I gave at reboot]( a month or so ago. For details, click on the poster Kevin made:

Talking at Google: Languages on the Internet

**Update 11.07.2007:** here is the slideshow!

**Update 12.07.2007:** and here’s the video!

**Update 13.07.2007:** and here are my notes for the talk… click on the photo to decypher!

Waiting for the Babel Fish Notes (Google Talk)

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What Do You Care About? [en]

[fr] Hier soir, au lieu de me demander "alors, qu'est-ce que tu fais?", David Isenberg m'a demandé "de quoi te préoccupes-tu" (ou, peut-être, "quels sont les thèmes chers à ton coeur" -- traduction pas évidente de "what do you care about").

En bref, je m'intéresse à l'espace où les gens et la technologie se rencontrent, particulièrement sur internet. Plus précisément:

  • les adolescents et internet
  • le multilinguisme sur internet

Yesterday evening in the skyscraper, I met [David Isenberg](, who instead of asking the very conventional “so, what do you do?” question, asked me “so, what do you care about?”

What a great question to ask somebody you’ve just met. It kind of blew my mind. Personally, I’ve come to dread the “what do you do?” question, because the answer is usually something like “uh, well, I’m a freelance consultant… blogging 101, stuff, teenagers, talks… bleh”. Which actually, does not adequately cover what I do and who I am. Actually, [the evening before](, somebody told me “you need to work on your sales pitch.” To which I answered that I didn’t have a sales pitch, because I don’t want to “sell myself” — if people want to work with me, they call me up or e-mail me, and I’m in the lucky situation that this provides enough interesting work to keep me busy and fed.

So, what do I care about? Mainly, about people, relationships, technology (particularly the internet) and where they intersect. That’s the whole “internet/web2.x consultant” thingy. And in a bit more detail, these days, there are two issues I care about a lot:

– teenagers and their use of the internet, and the educational issues it raises (what the risks are and aren’t — insert rant about predator hysteria here — what is changing, what parents need to know)
– languages online, particularly doing localisation right — insert rant about “country = language” here — and providing tools and strategies to help bridge people bridge language barriers better, and creating multilingual spaces (“multilingualism” stuff).

So, what do you care about?

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