Saturday, October 29, 2011

How social media could facilitate global communication in alanguage-ridden world

True global communications, in a world divided by the diversity of spoken languages and lack of their knowledge, are not really happening today. What we get is intersecting clusters of people communicating in groups, with bi- and multilingual bloggers and media acting as bridges between them.

Machine translation tools will come to our rescue eventually. But today they can't and shouldn't really be used even for scan-reading of articles and comments – so inaccurate they are at this. My Facebook and Twitter feeds have carried some hilarious facts of mistranslations recently.

The role of human communication bridges therefore remains quite big. And we may not always understand when our help is needed in bridging the language and culture divide.

Social media platforms should introduce some plain simple functionality to remind us of our roles. Like, suggesting to translate into other languages and republish the more popular posts, updates or tweets. Now, wouldn't that be helpful?