Meedan Aims High

There’s great excitement in the Twitterverse today about Meedan, a San Francisco-based operation that offers Web users English news articles translated into Arabic, and vice-versa. The site allows speakers of both languages to communicate with each other and, in addition to an international team of translators and editors, it uses IBM machine translation technology to expedite the commmunication. Any such development that encourages cultural and diplomatic understanding is very welcome.

The UK’s Guardian covers the story well here and here, as well as it being picked up by Wired, describing Meedan (which means “town square” in Arabic) thus:

Think of it a social network filled with people you don’t know, but want to understand.

You can also view a YouTube video that explains how the system works:

I am sure we will be hearing a lot more about this story soon.

Ultan Ó Broin
Ultan Ó Broin (@localization), is an independent UX consultant. With three decades of UX and L10n experience and outreach, he specializes in helping people ensure their global digital transformation makes sense culturally and also reflects how users behave locally. Any views expressed are his own. Especially the ones you agree with.

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