The Meedan Blog Archive

Help Meedan Translate Tweets from Egypt

As some of you know we are busy working on a prototype of Translatedesk, a platform for social translation of social media.

As some of you also know, there has been a fair amount of important Arabic social media circulating from Egypt over the past five days. We are reaching out to Meedan followers and readers with an ad-hoc recipe/suggestion for doing some (granted Twitter focused) translation.

The recipe is very simple - and falls out from work we've done with the the American University of Cairo/House of Translation Social Media Translation Workshop group

  1. Log on to Twitter (sorry, this work around is going to require a Twitter account)

  2. If you find a Tweet in Arabic that you believe is deserving of a translation hit 'reply' to the tweet

  3. In the reply field start with 'TT' space

  4. Begin and end your translation in quotation marks (eg TT "the current situation in Egypt is evolving minute to minute we...."

  5. Add @meedan to the end of the tweet (so that we can collate all of the translated tweets into the Meedan account and retweet all submissions from there).

  6. Include (but do not translate) the original hashtags from the tweet (know that this is optional, but considered a best practice)

  7. Include - as a shortlink (use if needed to create a shortlink from a full length URL) - any link included in the original tweet)

  8. If you run out of room (140 characters) use the formality of 1/2 ( meaning Tweet 1 of 2 - eg, (TT "the current situation in Egypt is evolving minute to minute we...." #Egypt @meedan 1/2)  at the end of the first tweet and then go back to number 3 above and hit reply and begin the next portion of the translation with: TT " not know how it will looktomorrow." 2/2 #Egypt @meedan

We will hope that this allows us to model the potential for TT before the release of the prototype and will be anxious to see how this 'experiment' works.  If you are looking for some interesting or contended tweets to translate, you might want to look at the tweets being curated into the AMAY liveblog or the Welad el Balad liveblog.  And, it goes without saying that we welcome any and all translated tweets - there are a diversity of opinions out there now and we want to share them all.