Translating Access to Data
Make a statement about the value of multilingual data!
Many of our digital tools, the community websites and forums and data portals - even the dribdat app you are looking at now! - are single language, or have a lot of monolingual content. The technical community makes an effort to support languages on the "front end", i.e. web site content, but translation support is often missing in data sources and APIs. For example, it is often not possible to make a multilingual tweet or forum post. There is a multitude of ways data sources get translated. Can we benefit from the skill and experience of our communities more, especially in a country like .ch to tackle this question in the service of journalism? Do you have ideas about designing / installing / funding / automating / humanizing solutions to overcome this?
Suggested hackathon goals
- What do you see as the main barriers in overcoming linguistic adversity when it comes to data publication?
- Put the problem into human context: after all, people are authors of most datasets. How could we stimulate multilingual data collection?
- Are there any particular ways that multilingual open data initiatives could assist certain kinds of journalistic efforts?
- Take a look at the pattern for language support in Frictionless Data, which provides a couple of ways to use multiple languages both in data and data descriptors (metadata). You can participate in the open discussion and help make the proposal part of the specs (via Augusto Herrmann)
- Drawing on examples from our community, such as the Wikidata multilingual support, share some good use cases in particular which we could address in this hackathon project (via Lionel Walter)
- Discourse plugins, language support patterns, leaderboards, tools like Transifex come to mind - any other suggestions when it comes to technology?
The open data community both in Switzerland and internationally tries to overcome cultural and language barriers and support the needs of a diverse membership. The association Opendata.ch pioneered multilingual, simultaneous hackathons, while Opendata.swiss is one of the world's few quadrilingual open data portals. This challenge is proposed by open data activist Oleg Lavrovsky, who gets by in a handful of languages but often regrets not speaking Italian, Romansch, or any of the many other tongues heard on our globalized streets.