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This is an open blog for and by students, teachers, and others who share a fascination with language. If you find yourself inspired, please join the community and tell your story! Be sure to watch this digital story about our blog.

About Found in Translation

UC Berkeley is often said to be a multilingual campus. While sipping coffee in the International House cafe, you can view video feeds of the latest news in several languages, and then go online and search for library materials in over 350 others. Walking through Sproul Plaza, you can hear discussions in Chinese, friends talking in Farsi, and student groups telling others about their activities in Spanish. You might speak a language other than English in phone conversations with family; maybe you read a multilingual poetry magazine; or you might even be one of the 4000 or so students enrolled in a language course.

We are certainly a multilingual campus, but are we a multilingual community? In a 2005 survey, less than half the student body reported learning only English as their first language. Yet for how many of us have our ‘native’ languages become foreign as we have grown older? How do the languages of lectures, discussion sections, sports events, club activities, chats with friends in person and online and all the other places where we make meaning in our lives as Berkeley students connect to our multilingual selves, our histories, our experiences, and the lives we might imagine?

This blog is a place to explore these questions, to write about the languages in our lives, and our lives in language. Through it, we can explore whether the languages we speak are neutral codes for expressing universal meaning, or how we feel and act differently in the different languages we speak; we can reflect on how language at times seems to divide the different periods of our lives as we acculturate to new domains of family, academic, and cultural life, and what is lost and gained in the process. For those of us studying abroad or thinking of studying abroad, Found in Translation can serve as a venue for sharing our experiences of personal translation, transformation, and growth. And whether we do so directly or indirectly, everyone who uses this blog can contribute to answering the question of what it means to be multilingual.

Found in Translation is a student-run blog, and is hosted out of the Berkeley Language Center, a unit that supports the learning and teaching of heritage and foreign languages on the UC Berkeley campus. The blog is open to students, staff, instructors and others at the university, as well as anyone else with an interest in contributing to its pages.

In order to post or write comments, you must agree to the terms of participation and register a username and email address via the registration page.

Any questions and comments can be sent to foundintranslation.admin[at]gmail.com.

Suggested Topics

You can gain a sense of the kind of posts on the site by looking at the archives, or browsing through the categories listed on the right side of the page. If you’re thinking about writing for Found in Translation but aren’t sure what to talk about, you might consider questions like these:

  1. What does being bilingual or multilingual mean to you?
  2. Has your experience learning language at Cal, in high school, abroad, or elsewhere changed you? How?
  3. What’s your favorite word in another language? Why?
  4. Why do you have such strong feelings about ___ language?
  5. Who’s had a major impact on your learning of another language?
  6. What feelings or concepts don’t translate too smoothly between languages that you know or have learned? Have you had any memorable blunders?
  7. How do you think using and living in other language(s) fits into your future?
  8. How could Berkeley be a better place for learning and using different languages?

Language(s) on Found in Translation

As you can see, the major common language on the site is English. HOWEVER, writing in any and all languages is encouraged. Depending on your interests, skill levels, and the audience you’d like to reach, you might consider:

  1. Writing all or mostly in English
  2. Writing all or mostly in another language
  3. Mixing the two languages at the paragraph, sentence, or word level
  4. Writing all in one language and translating that same content into the other language

Remember that you can return to your post at any time to add to it, modify, or delete it.

Comment Policy

Found in Translation encourages all of its readers to comment on blog posts and on the wall, and to contribute to building an online community that is vibrant and engaged. We encourage a diversity of views, opinions, and languages, but we also want to ensure that comments respect the rights of blog authors and viewers, and are consistent with UC Berkeley’s published Principles of Community .

All comments on Found in Translation are subject to moderation.

In particular, we encourage comments that

  • Are relevant, i.e., “on topic,” and that respond to the content in the blog post
  • Are responses to comments left by other readers
  • Have a positive/constructive tone
  • Are open to being contradicted by other readers
  • Might disagree with the content in the article or blog post, but they never insult the writer of the article or blog post, other commenters, or members of the Found in Translation community

Comments that will not be approved are those that:

  • Contain unsolicited advertisements (“spam”), use keywords, spam, splog-like URLs, or suspicious information,
  • Are unrelated to the subject matter of the post or of subsequent approved comments
  • Contain ad hominem or personal attacks, aggressive behavior, disrespectful instigation of arguments, or abusive or gratuitously offensive language.

In addition, any links to commercial sites/products will be removed from any comment on Found in Translation.

Comments (and IP addresses) from visitors to Found in Translation in violation of the comment policy will be blocked.

Questions or concerns? Please email foundintranslation.admin AT gmail.com

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