Free translation websites make the impossible now possible. 

Thanks to the Arabic to English translation website http://english.sakhr.com/ and a login ID from www.bugmenot.com, I read some posts tonight IN ARABIC from an Iraqi writing about, among other things, the rebuilding of schools in Iraq.

Omar posted this message today that includes a multitude of links to other Iraqi blogs. Just amazing. Problem is, many of them are in Arabic.

Thanks to the translation site above, I have been able to at least get an idea of what is being posted (the translation seems to be far from perfect) from posts by Al-Dhafir, who is writing about rebuilding Iraqi schools. The translation for the previous posting made on March 28, 2005 is:

“With God’s Help the opening of Al Smawa preparatory education took place to the sons and who its construction and its restoration were repeated from a department that it raises the dual is with the cooperation with the Japanese civil defense forces and that works now on all infrastructures reconstruction in the city ..Where she prepared the preparatory education and that considers the central preparatory education in the city by all new and advanced equipments .Where we noticed the happiness in the students eyes that were living in academic circumstances not suitable in the previous years ..Where the care about the science and the justice and the health she from the basics in the development of the nations ..And the guiding Allah and say ( might the blessing and the praise of Allah last anyway !!!!)”

Again, like Babelfish (which I am a bit more familiar with) the translation is not perfect, but it certainly gives you a glimpse into the message of the author– and where I had no idea what the Arabic characters meant and the message that was being communicated, now at least I have a small clue.

Amazing technology.

I translated a few other pages and they mostly seemed to be religious references to the Koran, sort of Bible lessons. I didn’t find anything that I would describe as particularly amazing or quotable, and this process was a bit arduous (if I was a subscriber to the translation service and could translate entire webpages at one time, that would probably be a lot easier). But just the fact that this is possible is amazing, even with the limitations of my present practice.

The communicative potential here is amazing.

I think the blogs being written by Iraqis really dramatize the incredible revolution in publishing and information exchange which blogs exemplify. The world has changed, and blogs are a major sign of how dramatic those changes are.

Ideas do change the world, by the way. It takes people to communicate those ideas and take action based on them to change reality, but it is the ideas themselves which form the genesis of the change.

Blogs communicate ideas which can change the world. Pretty heady stuff. 🙂 

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