Whether you are a Trump supporter or not — and whether you care about the U.S. 2016 presidential elections or not –- the sign is funny, no?
“Donald Trump can’t read this, but he is scared of it.”
Not being fluent in Arabic, I would not have known what it meant. Except for the endless social media posts about it, and The Guardian’s coverage.
How many other election jokes and serious debates are we missing due to language barriers? A lot. Especially on social media, where thousands of tweets and Facebook posts in foreign languages fly right on by.
A new translation tool called Bridge is going to let us read those indecipherable posts, however. Bridge is making social media even more social.
Bridge translates twitter and other social media platforms into multiple languages. This way, us digital humans can communicate – even more. Bridge uses only real humans for the translation of social media.
Bridge goes one step further.
According to mediaonline, Bridge “applies journalistic principles to curate and translate social media conversations among global and minority communities as a way to broaden the discourse.”
Roughly translated: Bridge hires journalists or people with “journalistic sensibilities who either come from the relevant community or understand the minority group well” to do and review the translations for accuracy.
Bridge has a special project for the U.S. 2016 presidential elections, as you can imagine.
U.S. 2016 presidential elections and translation law
The U.S. has a “Minority Language Provision” law which requires all federal documents to be translated into “minority languages” of the local population. The system is not without its kinks.
Recall the translation blunder for the U.S. 2012 presidential elections, when Chinese-speaking voters were directed to enter their “last 4 nuclear submarines” instead of the last 4 digits of their social security numbers. Good one, Illinois.
Another blunder occurred in Maryland. The summary of the ballot question concerning the same-sex civil marriage referendum completely misled Spanish-speaking voters.
The Minority Language Provision law requires ballots, voter registration, polling information and other logistical information for voting. Of course it does not require that the plethora of information, debate, accusations and promises made on social media be translated.
As digital beings, we know social media affects our thinking and possibly our voting choices.
For the 2016 U.S. presidential elections, some politicians are translating their own social media. Candidate Hillary Clinton has her official twitter feed translated into Spanish on a separate account.
Whether voting, supporting, arguing or trying to ignore the U.S. presidential elections, thanks to Bridge, you can now better navigate the social media around it and other topics.
AT&T used to tell us to reach and touch someone. Bridge is letting us reach out and understand someone. Or insult them. Or support them. Social media has never been more social.