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Bienvenue FR24! What’s the news with language & technology?

Written By: daveski on December 8, 2009 1 Comment

question-mark-button-thumb3049741Welcome to everyone from French 24, Prof. Kern’s “Language and Technology” seminar, and of course to anyone else who happens upon this post. (These days I think Found in Translation’s getting about 200 hits per day, and we’ve had visits from people in about 150 countries, if I’m remembering the Google Analytics report right…)

But it’s the people here at Cal who make this blog what it is, and as one of the admins for the blog, a grad student (and former undergrad) here at Cal in the School of Education (my full name’s David Malinowski, and you can see my pic there but don’t look too long–a friend bet me I wouldn’t post my Halloween nerd costume pic in the official student profile section, ugh) … as a friend and fan of Professor Kern’s, and a self-avowed language-and-tech geek, I’m super excited to hear that you’re posting some thoughts on your projects and other topics here on FIT.

One thing I’m sure it’s hard to do is to know who you’re writing to here…and when you don’t know who you’re writing to, it makes it pretty hard to start writing in the first place. Actually, there have been some people who’ve written about that very topic (see this post and this one too from past students in Prof. Kern’s classes), and the difficulty of writing on a group blog is a pretty rich language-and-technology issue to explore in itself. Although this blog is officially the ‘Blog of the Berkeley Language Center’, it’s only as good as the people who give of themselves to make it what it is.

So who writes here, and what are people supposed to write? Well, if you scroll around and check out some of the archives (you can find them by date in the column on the right), you’ll probably notice that Usree, Youki (fellow students in the School of Education) and I have written quite a bit, and a lot of that’s on language and technology. But actually we’re only 3 out of a bunch of people who have written and come back to write more — chigaijin is a CS major who wrote about his experiences learning Chinese and Japanese as foreign languages; Cindy found out about FIT from a past Language & Technology class and wrote about the art/technology of letter writing; Katie_K has written about politeness, etiquette differences between France and the US, and her favorite word in Russian, which I for the life of me can still not pronounce.

Even this brief sampling shows that there are a lot of topics out there, so I’m wondering if that even helps that much in thinking about what to write about. Usree’s written about what it means to exist through Facebook; Youki’s put together a video mini-series on memes, music and other topics, and I tried riffing off PHP code in one of my posts (a fact which chigaijin rightfully took me to task for in the comments, but I still kinda like it), and if you scroll down the posts on the front page you can see Prof. Kern writing about how terrible a situation study abroad is falling into now because of the budget cuts.

The point in all of this, I think, is not just what you write about, but the spirit you bring to what you write. “Languaging experience” is a pretty big category to write under, but there just aren’t that many blogs that are trying to be a place where students and professors can write in the same space, where posts can be reeeeallly long or really short, where you can write in English or another language or a mix of two, where we are our own audience, at the same time people are looking towards our posts as representative of what’s going on at Berkeley. One thing that unites us all, I think, is that we think that our diversity of experiences in language, technology, culture, and identity really matter. And at the same time we write about these things that already exist in the world, we think it’s pretty cool that this is one among many places where we can bring language and technology together, and make something new.

So…bienvenue! Welcome! We’re ALL looking forward to reading what you write, and want to invite you, if you’re interested, to stay on and help take FIT into 2010.

…and if you’d like to email me, Usree & Youki, just shoot an email to foundintranslation.admin AT gmail DOT com. Thanks!

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One Response to “Bienvenue FR24! What’s the news with language & technology?”

  1. Youki on: 8 December 2009 at 2:30 am

    I took Rick’s Writing and Technology course last year and it was great. If you’re new to blogging (I was) it can be pretty tough to write on FIT, especially when you don’t really know who is reading. Actually, most of the contributors on FIT have taken Rick’s class, so we all kinda share a similar background in that we’re interested in language/technology and are open to hearing new ideas. We even had someone write about World of Warcraft which was pretty neat. Looking forward to your posts!

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