Google translate just added 10 languages. Go check it out.
I spend more and more time thinking about what the world will be like as more and more people in communities that have generally been shut off from global communication and media production get access to tools for the creation of media. What do maasai women have to say about emancipatory politics? What do tibetan women with multiple husbands have to say about feminism? What are the fashion preferences of inuit teenagers? How do bedouin men feel about advanced capitalism? What does a half danish half inuit greenlander have to say about secession from denmark?
Every time a new language is added to mass translation services and mass global media outlets, the world, i think, becomes less a western colonial situation and more a sort of post-colonial terran situation. I sort of think that 100 years from now if communication and media continues to become cheaper and cheaper to produce and more decentralized, anyone who once would have been from the west who is immersed in this stuff isn’t going to be a westerner anymore. Just a terran.
I like the idea of “alter-globalization”. The idea that one doesn’t have to be opposed to globalization per se to be opposed to neo-liberal and capitalist forms of globalism (which generally just look like new kinds of colonialism, or just infection). Globalism could be the free exchange of ideas back and forth between the former colonized and the colonizing. People in Hong Kong can now shout right at the british AND the chinese, bolivians can explain to americans their concerns, and navaho can collaborate on media projects with ainu. The cat is out of the bag i suppose.
A fun thing to do is go into google translate and translate something like “life after capitalism” into swahili or “anarchism in uzbekistan” in uzbek or “radical politics in madagascar” in malagasy and then plunk what you get into google search. Then take paragraphs from the articles and essays you pull up and translate them back into english. Much of it will be barely readable, but it will be interesting none-the-less.
Here is an interesting comment from the center for a stateless society on globalization:
And duolingo, of course: