Collaborative translation for all types of web content provided by Worldwide Lexicon

Automated computer translation is decades away from producing
acceptable content for most forms of communication. Truly global
communication requires a combinatorial explosion of translations
(e.g., if a continent has 30 languages, 900 translation efforts are
needed for all people to communicate). This kind of knowledge
intensity and scaling calls for a distributed, Wikipedia-like
solution, and a colleague of mine–Brian McConnell–has created one in
the form of the Worldwide

If you are comfortable in two or more languages, you can choose any
Web page you think deserves a wider audience and translate it (or
begin a translation). Other people can rate your translation or jump
in and redo parts of it. The site includes an extension that works
with major blog sites to let users display and edit translations to

What’s new this week is that Brian has added a translation plugin
(open source, like the rest of the software) that can be added easily
to any web page allowing helpers to translate the links and other
navigational or interactive tools of a site in addition to the
content. The plugin displays a pencil on the page, and clicking on the
pencil presents you with a form where you can type in a translation.

I like hearing from people around the world, whether it’s traditional
news outlets such as
offers or citizen journalists such as
Global Voices.
Worldwide Lexicon may help us understand one another–or at least may
lead people to hold in check the natural arrogance we all have that
our worldview is the only coherent one.