A recent New York Times story contained this startling statement:

“Lucifer Chu, a 31-year-old from Taipei, Taiwan . . . has become a millionaire by creating Chinese translations of fantasy novels. Using much of the $1 million in royalties from his versions of The Lord of the Rings, Mr. Chu says he devotes himself to distributing free translations of material from a Massachusetts Institute of Technology Web site.

It goes on to say that “his team, which includes four full-time editors and scores of volunteers, has completed translations of 178 courses, and more than 600 partial ones. Thirty-five are good enough that M.I.T. links to them directly.” His nonprofit project is Opensource Opencourseware Prototype System (MYOOPS).

First of all, a translator who has collected a million dollars in royalties? Wow!

Thank you, Lucifer Chu!

OpenCourseware Consortium The OpenCourseWare project, which started with Massachusetts Institute of Technology, currently includes courses from hundreds of universities in the United States, United Kingdom, China, Colombia, France, Japan, Mexico, The Netherlands and Vietnam. MIT plans to have content of all its 1,800 courses online by the end of this year under the Creative Commons license.

Many courses are technical, but language, psychology, economics and other fields are represented as well. Some classes are in the local language of the university, some in English. Classroom interaction, copyright-limited material and college credit are not part of the deal, but for pure learning, the possibilities are endless—commercial economics (Nanjing University of Finance); biodiversity in French (ParisTech); the history of Mexico in Spanish (Universidad de Monterrey); “Nanotechnology and Nanoscience” in English (Tokyo Tech). 


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