I am lucky that I am able to see some of the great movies being showcased in this last week of the Sydney Film Festival. One of the real benefits from watching world cinema is to get a different cultural perspective from such films while at the same time reflecting on issues and lives and problems common to us all. At the same time, foreign films re-emphasise to me the fact that there is a huge amount of information and knowledge in non-English languages that remain out of our (us English speakers) sphere of comprehension. And this is not only important in terms of general communication and understanding, but also for knowledge management, especially within knowledge-intensive global enterprises.
Well, there are some developments underway to help bridge the language gap and Translation News has some of the latest information, particularly news about translation technologies. In addition, Google has been active developing its automatic translation technology. And in the world of content management, a number of companies offer automatic translation capacities for global organisations requiring local language web content. For example, Red Dot, a company that I spoke with at the UK Information Online Conference and Exhibition last November, has its Red Dot translation editor.
And while I appreciate that translations do not always give the real nuances of language in the original story (as one of my French friends tells me when I am reading Zola), a translation does provide a useful bridge to the world of knowledge and information that would otherwise remain hidden from our view.