Tuesday, February 23, 2010

San Francisco Bay View, National Black Newspaper, now in French and more

 The "San Francisco Bay View, National Black Newspaper," based in San Francisco, California, U.S.A., is one of the few publications in the United States that makes an effort to cover the African Continent and Diaspora.  During the Copenhagen climate talks, it published 'We Stand with Africa'; Africa Group shuts down climate talks," one of many reports in its "Africa and the World" section. 

This week the Bay View published a collection of my own online and radio reports on Rwanda's 2010 election, under the headline "Rwandan opposition parties condemn grenade attacks in Kigali."

And, this week they  added a translation button, just beneath the headline on each article, offering a long list of auto translation options, including of course French, the European language that most Rwandans speak more readily than English, although English became the official business language of Rwanda, after English speaking General Paul Kagame led the English speaking Rwandan Patriotic Front Army to power in 1994.  

Machine translations are of course funky and flawed, often downright comical, but, the funky flaws are usually obvious, and the machine translations generally communicate a report's essential meaning nevertheless.

Unfortunately, the translation button doesn't include an option for Kinyarwanda, the African language shared by all Rwandans, Hutu, Tutsi, and Twa, probably because such a button is not yet available, but it does include Kiswahili, Afrikaans, and quite a few languages I don't immediately recognize. 

A French translator is helping me create English-to-French annotation translations for my news videos about Rwanda, posted to the Youtube, and they're not quite done, but, given the French/English language competition still being negotiatied in Rwanda, I wanted to announce the addition of this translation button right away.

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