On the bottom of each post on radiofree.org you will notice a button titled, “Translate” which allows anyone the ability to submit an alternate language version of any article.
A translation is the communication of the meaning of a source-language by means of an equivalent target-language text – which basically means that it is something that is always going to mean something slightly different in each language, but is meant to share the same derived meaning. In journalism, this can be tricky as leaving things open to interpretation through the manipulation of language results in a polarized understanding if not properly mediated.
On radiofree.org, anyone can easily submit alternate posts for different language versions. For the purpose of this demonstration, we will use an example post titled, NPR at 50: Straying from Its Civic Mission? written by Ralph Nader in May 2021.
Step 1 – Press the button at the bottom of the post titled, “Translate”. You should notice an area appear below the buttons similar to the image above, with the details of the original post.
Step 2 – Translate the title in the space provided. Make sure to carefully ensure that your title accurately reflects the original title.
Step 3 – Translate the post in the space provided. You may use limited HTML markup and add images, audio and video recordings using the file selection below. Adding an audio or video version of your translation is as simple as recording yourself reading your translated post and adding the file in the space provided. Depending on your preference, it may be helpful to copy the original text of the article into the translation editor space, using it as a guide to translate phrase by phrase.
Step 4 – Select the language of the newly translated post using the drop-down selector.
Step 5 – Add any relevant tags, in any language, separated by comma (example: tag1, tag 2, tag three).
Step 6 – Add your name as the author of the translated version.
Step 7 – Click “Publish” to send your version to the editors for review.
Translating news into other languages allows for news to be more accessible and promotes diversity at its core. When the media takes the time to help others understand a shared perspective, it increases understanding of all sides of an issue. Translations can be misinterpreted, especially a single translation that is used out of context. By allowing everyone the ability to interpret content through translational practice, it allows for the news to be open to interpretation on the nuance of specific language in context to the original author’s meaning, which is the first step in understanding the pulse on any given issue from two or more perspectives.
Try it for yourself with any article on radiofree.org or perhaps the same article we used above which is about, well, as Ralph Nader puts it, “an omnipresent air of smugness about NPR, such as their constant display of confident ignorance on Congress’ constitutional authority”. See our example below in Japanese and challenge yourself to translate one article a day to improve media access for all.