Kapow! It's the Cataspanglish Summer Special!

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Back in the prehistoric period that was my childhood I used to spend my summer pocket money on these "summer special" comics (images taken from this great post on the subject by Lew Stringer). And this summer feels just like one of them, so much stuff crammed in within the covers – so I just wanted to recap a little what's happening in the world of cataspanglish…

Right now we're up to our eyeballs in PodCamp Barcelona 2010 which takes place in El Masnou, September 13-18. Instead of following the format of the last two years and making it easy on ourselves, clever cataspanglish decided to change the format, adding some workshops to give back, through our knowledge, something to the good folks of El Masnou who bankroll the event. We also decided to limit the number of "presentations" and, at the suggestion of @Moof who is working on PodCamp with us this year along with @pdavenne, make the afternoon part of the "main" day of PodCamp Barcelona an after-lunch discussion forum based on the "sobremesa" – the long, leisurely after-lunch, over coffee and liqueurs chats around the table typical of Spain.

Moof and myself had discussed this kind of event idea after attending the 1pound40 conference held by Amplified in London late last year. Much of the thinking about PodCamp Barcelona 2010 has been inspired by the concepts of Sue Thomas and Toby Moores about participation, involvement & creativity which they experiment on through Amplified projects, and conversations with Steve Lawson and Lucy Windmill who came over to PodCamp Barcelona last year. I'd say that what we bring to that (and which complicates everything intensely), is our intent to create the conditions for real time, genuine but informal communication to take place but amongst people expressing themselves in different languages simultaneously. We have the speaker on the podium simultaneous translation thing down, but how can we extend the peer sharing of knowledge and ideas in a real time multilingual context? Maybe through transliteracy?  We'll keep you posted on the results of our experiment and if you've got any thoughts, please share them in the comments.

The other big issue, and one we haven't had the resources to deal with this year, is that of inclusion of disabled and deaf people. We have added a plugin on the Spanish website which reads the posts (need to find one those for Catalan and English too), but the budget didn't stretch to having sign language and attempts to get volunteers has (so-far) failed…

Whew! this getting too damn long for a single comic strip so I'm going to have to use that great expression "to be continued…"

Blam! (update)
Can't believe I forgot to include the Tweetlation real-time tweet translation that Moof set up at PodCamp Barcelona 2009 and which he and Patrick are going to be running this year. Check out Can you tweetlate?

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4 thoughts on “Kapow! It's the Cataspanglish Summer Special!

  1. Pingback: Tweets that mention Kapow! It’s the Cataspanglish Summer Special! « Cataspanglish -- Topsy.com

  2. Would it help to have roaming multilingual volunteers with stickers offering to serve as go-betweens for those who don't understand one language or another? I'd volunteer. (English/Catalan/Spanish)

  3. Would it help? Definitiely, anything we can do to ease the conversation along is wonderful. Roving translators are a great idea – and those people doing so get to hear and help out in the best conversations in the Podcamp!
    There is a bit of the podcamp not yet announced on the website which we're calling the "tertulia" – I'm hoping we can get one volunteer translator accompanying each speaker, to help the conversation along.
    As for stickers: we could do the easyJet-style thing of having little flag stickers that people can stick on their nametags showing what languages they speak.

  4. That would be a brilliant idea, Liz! We can make stickers with international language codes (EN, ES, CA, etc.) for all languages spoken and understood by the attendees. Maybe we could use it as standard upon arrival for eveyone and mark a checkbox for 'roving translators'? This way those cumbersome moments of "huh, so…" when people don't speak at least one language in common would be avoided and they could try and fetch a translator straight away…
    As long as we avoid the silly 'flags' for languages, I'm all for it 😉

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