In an earlier post I was claiming that the designers of the MIT’s 100$ laptop do not understand the context in and for what they are designing their tool. They seem to ignore all cultural and social factors and considerations.
Now the One Laptop per Child (OLPC) website is available in fourteen languages. Among those there is a Finnish (Suomeksi) version. Great! – Doesn’t this show that they take the cultural issues seriously? …uuhh not really.
The Finnish translation is totally bizarre. It is something that makes the Finnish language teachers to squirm! It’s not a machine translation. Machines do not make mistakes with spelling. I guess an American-Finnish person who basically does not know the language very well anymore made the translation with a dictionary. All respect for the person, but…
Does this tell something about the people in the OLPC project? Do they show respect on my culture and language? Does this show that they will consider people’s – they are those things often called “users”- social and cultural matters when designing the laptop?
I am not sure, but at least they could hire professional translators to do the translations.
Next Tuesday, May 9 at AM 9.15-10 in the University of Tampere (Finland), lecture hall C 8 (main building) Walter Bender, Executive director of the MIT Media Laboratory and the president and COO of the One Laptop per Child foundation will give a talk with the title “imagine if all children were given a hundred-dollar laptop…”.
Use your right to attend to university lectures and be there! I’ll be there, if I am not dead tired from my trip to Bogotá.