Translating The Campaign

Sep 6 2012 @ 4:46pm

David Wertime passes along news that Michelle Obama's convention speech was a big hit in China:

One netizen from Beijing asked rhetorically, "Who knows who the first lady of China is?" Another from Hangzhou couldn't help but notice, "The big difference with our Party Congress is: The audience [at the DNC] have expressions, they're laughing, or thinking deeply, or getting passionate. Our representatives are always without expression and applauding mechanically." 

Meanwhile, back in the US, Adrienne LaFrance covers an experiment undertaken by PBS's Newshour, which is having volunteers crowd-translate the program's political videos into as many as 52 languages:

Generally, Obama gets more attention from translators than Romney. (It’s understandable that a sitting president would draw more attention than his as-yet-unelected rival.) Some languages are more popular than others. One volunteer in Indonesia is particularly active, which means that many videos have Indonesian subtitles. "The most frequent languages besides English are Spanish, French, Indonesian, Chinese, and Korean," Joshua Barajas, a production assistant at PBS NewsHour who handles communications with the volunteer translators, told me. Arabic and Turkish aren’t too far behind.