The Meedan Blog Archive

How you can help translate Twitter

As you may have seen, in recent weeks Meedan has been piloting a new project to help encourage and enable cross-language dialogue on Twitter. In our first pilot, we translated tweets into Arabic (#enar) and into English (#aren) around the hashtag #park51 - as Arabic-speaking and English-speaking users discussed the Cordoba House/"Ground Zero Mosque" initiative.

In our second run out, with our ranks bolstered and with our team better able to work in hashtags, we translated links and tweets as the first direct peace talks between Israeli and Palestinian leaders in 2 years got underway in Washington, focusing on the #peacetalks hashtag.

Now Meedan needs your help: On Thursday, September 23 at 13:00GMT we're going to be gathering online, and we want to open our Twitter translation pilot up to the rest of the Twittosphere.

Here's how you can work with us to enable discussion across Arabic and English:

1) DM @Meedan on Twitter (or email )with your email address, so we can give you access to our @TranslateTweets account on Hootsuite

2) Sign up, with that email address, for Hootsuite. This will be our translation and curation dashboard. Set up Hootsuite to receive the @TranslateTweets Favourites stream, and the #aren and #enar streams. (See a short tutorial video by @georgeweyman on how to set up your Hootsuite here [password: hootsuite] NOTE:  We will provide open access to the @TranslateTweets account rather than the @Meedan account)

3) Earlier in the day, we will have identified a hashtag around which we will be translating and curating, and informed all parties.  If you want to help curate links and tweets, then use Hootsuite to find and mark Tweets for translation by adding them to the @TranslateTweets Favourites stream (see guidelines here)

4) If you want to help the translation effort see these guidelines and this tutorial video [password: hootsuite].

5) Any questions? Get in touch with @meedan, @tomelrumi, @georgeweyman or @mskayyali

We look forward to seeing you on Thursday for some real-time translation and conversation building!

UPDATE: To start the party, we'll be working on the #SaudiNationalDay and #Gaza hashtags - any other suggestions welcome!