BLOGOS.

I somehow have managed not to mention Andrew Joscelyne’s Blogos here (though I did mention Aristotle’s use of the word), so let me remedy the omission. From the About page:

Blogos puts the logos in the blogosphere. It covers language through multilinguality and translation, localization and global markets, individual skills and emerging technologies, enablers and barriers, knowledge and speculation. Primarily a tracker of news and views about the global language industry, it also explores fruitful links between new practices, language technologies and the world of ideas.

Recent posts I’m glad not to have missed are The 40 language dash, about people who learn lots and lots of languages (and touching upon “the intriguing subject of the glosserotics of multilingual love affairs in history”), and The French disconnection, a discussion of “Jean-Noël Jeanneney’s call to resist Google’s plan to digitize a number of (U.S.) library holdings” on the grounds that this would somehow “be partial and informed by an ‘American’ point of view.” I am in complete agreement with his conclusion:

But for Jeanneney, if digitization is indeed financed by the tax payer, it ensures that culture escapes the consumer-sensitive rankings of a search engine such as Google. His idea would be to federate Europeans in an act of resistance against the hyperpower of Google rankings, and maintain that famous “multipolar” world, wherein other options prevail beyond the profit motive. The irony here is that the French would probably seek to dominate a European ranking of digitized culture in just the same way the Americans are criticized for dominating the rankings at global cultural level.
Reducing the perceived hyperpower of Google is best achieved by people power working with Google – multilingualizing it, multiculturalizing it, forcing it to handle a greater diversity of needs. It is unlikely that resistance is best served by inventing yet another Euro search engine with, inevitably, government backing.

Comments

  1. Google is already open to the idea of being multicultural and multilingual. It has, uniquely I suspect, an open programme for volunteer translators to help localise its interface.
    Of course, this is only the surface of the monster. There are countless unknowns in trying to match the aims of a universal search machine to the way different groups consider and use information, and that’s before the various semiotic web projects start to bear fruit. Why, a chap could get a doctorate, wax fat, and die in lauded old age by feeding on those issues alone.
    But so far, Google qualifies as a sensible focus for those worrying about such things.
    R

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