The editorsweblog.com has a post from Stefanie Churnow looking at the latest developments on a Chinese website called yeeyan.org – a news site made up of content translated from English in an attempt to help pull down the language barrier thrown up by the globalisation of journalism.
The site itself has been running since 2006 and has 150,000 registered users according to Nieman Journalism Lab, inviting translators to enable the movement of news from one language to the next.
Yeeyan focuses on the social aspect of its mission over quality of content. Users are highly encouraged to interact with the site and have their own profile which shows their statistics of their involvement on Yeeyan. People can recommend articles for translation, or they can attempt to translate an article themselves.
Commenting on the site’s success so far, Churnow says the significance is the support it provides to global journalism and offers a model for the future.
With the globalization of journalism, the need to translate different news sources into a variety of language is growing. The Paris based Courrier International is an established leader in this trend, translating articles from all over the world into French. Yet the Yeeyan community is an example of how it is possible to build cultural and language bridges at a cheaper rate than what is offered by conventional translating methods. Yeeyan may be replicated in the future to provide community based translating systems across many different languages. The drawback though is you get what you pay for; the communities are essentially free to sustain, but this social aspect to Yeeyan means that translation is not necessarily to a professional standard.
Last year it was shut down for several months following a partnership venture with the Guardian Media Group and was suffering from server problems earlier today, but these have now been corrected.