Archivio per settembre, 2008

Web Search Strategies in Plain English

ovvero: strategie di ricerca sul Web in parole semplici, oppure strategie di ricerca sul web in parole povere, oppure strategie di ricerca sul web spiegate semplicemente, oppure…

In quanti modi si può tradurre “in Plain English”? Mah..

Questo è solo l’inizio, perché in questo caso il video è solo un pretesto per una riflessione sulle traduzioni.

Anche perché per la traduzione su DotSub dell’ultima fatica di Commoncraft questa volta qualcuno mi ha preceduto.. 😉

E meno male, perchè il video contiene un caso davvero particolare di “intraducibilità culturale”.

Ecco cosa accade: gli autori hanno pensato di inserire nel video un esempio relativo a parole che hanno un doppio significato e che pertanto presentano problemi quando si fanno ricerche sul Web.

Provate a pensare a quali esempi avreste fatto…

Beh, loro ne hanno trovato uno praticamente…intraducibile: la parola mullet. Il dizionario vi dirà che significa “triglia” o “muggine” (già qualcosa non torna, come si fa a confondere un muggine con una triglia???). In inglese però mullet è anche un tipo (discutibile :-)) di taglio di capelli! Tutto ciò in italiano (e in molte altre lingue), non ha alcun senso (in italiano, secondo Wikipedia, questo taglio si chiama “capelli alla tedesca”). Il sottotitolo recita tuttavia “considera la parola TRIGLIA, che è sia un pesce che un taglio di capelli”!!!

Questo fatto mi fa riflettere sulle difficoltà insite nella traduzione e sulla nostra perenne illusione che la tecnologia possa risolvere ogni tipo di problema: DotSub è una grande idea, ma non può nulla  un caso come questo, nel quale non basta sottotitolare, ma sarebbe necessario modificare il video stesso!

Chiaro, gli autori si sono ispirati alla metafora del “mare, oceano” (il web come oceano di informazioni..), quindi la triglia (o il muggine) sono pertinenti, però noi italiani avremmo sicuramente usato “pesca”, per l’esempio, no?

CCK08 – Week 2 – Schools and rizhomes

Reading the Cormier’s article I was struck by the vision of rhizomatic model of education as a sort of chaotic, completely guideless learning (Cormier says “curriculum is not driven by predefined inputs from experts”, ) that seems incompatible with the very notion of course and school (for example, is this course a rhizomatic experience?).

And what about the experts? I still advocate the need of experts! In my previous post about “ordinary connectivism” I presented an example in which experts were “special nodes” in our daily knowledge network.

Neverthless, the point is that anyone could be expert in something. This could seem trivial, but I guess this is a big point in which our schooling system seems unsuitable.

Schools are grounded on the idea that only teachers are experts, while students are usually semi-empty brains to be filled with notions. Students with peculiar abilities are rarely appreciated at school, if they are not aligned with the mainstream of the (mostly fixed) curriculum.

This way, schools encourage a very low level of epistemic belief in their students: the absolute knowing, in which “knowledge is always certain and it is obtained from authorities” (Jonassen, Marra & Palmer, 2004).

Unfortunately, this dramatically unfits with the multiplicity and flowing nature of knowledge (“knowledge is not static”, G.Siemens), nowadays!

Even if I’m not for de-schooling our society and I don’t (yet?) realize how “community can act as curriculum”, I’m as much convinced that schools must change, if they want to keep up with our changing society, maybe including some forms of rhizomes inside them…

CCK08 – Week 1 – A day of ordinary connectivism

I have to admit: I don’t like theoretical discussions and definitions.  I love stories, indeed and I think that often most concepts, even if difficult, may be better explained through storytelling.

So, this is a story about connectivism: even though it’s only a small log of my starting of today’s workday, I apologize for its lenght. I reflected on that event and found that it was possible to map this activity with some properties of connectivism.

Here’s the story.

This morning, around 7.30, I turned on my PC and checked my e-mail. Among others, there was a message from Maria, a colleague of mine at LTE. She said she received a request from Gianna, a teacher (maybe one of the participants of our teacher training courses…) who wanted to know how to work with her pupils on a cartoon video from YouTube. Gianna wanted to subtitle or add balloons to that video. I suppose Gianna was asking to Maria because she knows her and hoped she could help her, since Maria is part of Gianna’s personal network

Well, Maria in turn thought to ask to me. Why? Maybe because she knows that I’m quite more expert than her on those Web 2.0 stuff… and of course, I’m part of Maria’s network (not of the Gianna’s one, though, I don’t know Gianna at all)

Actually, I realized that I only roughly knew how to make the requested work. Anyway, I decided that I was able to give an answer.

First of all, I remembered that YouTube has recently added an annotation feature, maybe I read it in a post from my GoogleReader feeds (i.e.: part of my knowledge network supported by technology). So I started my reply for Maria with this first info, that came directly from my internal network (my brain).

I added one more info that I know very well: it’s also possibile to use DotSub for subtitling videos. However, this implies to be able to first download a video from YouTube and next upload it in DotSub. Unfortunately, I didn’t know how to download a video from YouTube, but equally wanted to provide a complete reply.

It was time to activate my own external network: I was almost sure that Alberto, a blogger whose feed I subscribed, often blogs about YouTube, videos and similar stuff. Normally, I didn’t care so much about these posts but I was pretty sure that a quick query in my Google Reader had helped. I made a search in that specific feed but I found no resources about how to download from YouTube.  However I found another resource I didn’t have notice first: there is a web site where you can directly add bubble to any video, without need of download-upload anything! It’s named bubbleply, I quickly tried it, found good and I added this notice to my response. This is clearly an example of serendipity, caused by the mix of personal and resource network I looked at.

The end? No, of course I still wanted to complete with info about downloading from YouTube. So, if it’s true that “learning can reside in non-human appliances”  😉 I thought I could have find some info through Google. I searched simply “YouTube download” (actually, in Italian). One of the first results was an article from a blog authored by Salvo, an italian guy that I know for his reputation as an expert (again my personal network at work, this time useful for the reliability of the information). He suggested to use the web site for this task. Quick navigation to keepvid, and I was able to complete my reply for Maria.

At 8.02 I sent my reply message and I guess she forwarded it to Gianna as soon as she read it.

Bored by this story? I can realize that 🙂

Neverthless I argue it’s a good example of the very connective nature of the work of most of us. Work or learning or …existence? Actually, in this case, for those of us who live in the net, where is the difference?

Another question: where do the knowledge I produced during that half hour resided? It appears clear that it aggregated from a network, made by:

  1. my internal memory (about new YouTube feature and DotSub),
  2. my contacts in the net, a mix of human and resource network (bubbleply, I never was been able to discover it without my connection with Alberto),
  3. the networked resources offered by the Web (how to download from YouTube).

The role of technology in enabling this network is very evident, too.

Finally, think a bit to the Maria’s role in this story: we must point out that she was only a node, she acted as a router, a knowledge router. She actually didn’t know the answer, nor she was able to add any content, but her “existence” was absolutely essential in order to pipe that piece of knwoledge from me to Gianna. Neverthless, Maria had a peculiar skill: simply (simply?) “to know the right person to whom relay this question”. I argue it’s not so easy to find so efficient human routers… 🙂

Well, was it an “early morning connectivism” example?

CCK08 – Week 1 – Too much connected?

My very first impressions from the course: I feel a little uncomfortable with the variety of connection places that, in theory, we should manage.

This is causing me some anxiety: is it preferable to post here, in my blog, or is it better to discuss in the Moodle forum? Or should I post here and then put a link to the post in the forum, or in the Facebook group? And how will we struggle with the overwhelming quantity of information that will be arriving from our mates?

I started to read the papers for the week but I’m not already able to make a relevant post on content.

For now, I’m jumping from the course blog to the wiki to the Moodle forums to the Google Map, and following the links, and looking at the Italian community (yes… one more space), and… only a look to Facebook and.. I’ve not yet tried to play with CMap.

Maybe I’m just more connected than yesterday, but (for now) I haven’t learnt anything…

I casi dell’avvocato Guerrieri

Immagine di I casi dell'avvocato Guerrieri

Guido Guerrieri è l’avvocato che ognuno di noi vorrebbe avere a disposizione in caso di guai con la giustizia. Guai che possono capitare a tutti, non serve essere delinquenti abituali, si sa…
E pensare che Guerrieri non lo fa neanche volentieri l’avvocato, però insomma, che bel personaggio! Amante della boxe, della cucina e del vino, della musica e dei libri (molte citazioni sparse), per niente modaiolo, non è mai riuscito ad abbordare una ragazza (lo dice lui) ma ci pensano loro ad abbordare lui…
Ha molti difetti, è un po’ vigliacco e un po’ eroe, onesto ma non troppo (qualche incasso in nero eh…): insomma un personaggio che sembra di conoscere o che si vorrebbe esistesse davvero.
Le storie non sono certo thriller mozzafiato, sono “all’italiana” pure loro, le parti più “legal” sono forse anche un po’ pesanti ma nel complesso è una lettura superiore a tanti sopravvalutati stranieri.
Bella l’ambientazione in una Bari diversa dallo stereotipo, ricca di risorse “segrete” (chissà se c’è davvero la libreria notturna…).
Non guasta un sottile umorismo di fondo: evidentemente Guerrieri-Carofiglio non si prende del tutto sul serio. Bravo!

CCK08: kicking off!


Just a kickoff post to start my new CCK08 blog category. It will be the main space for my reflections and (I hope) discussions about the CCK08 course  topics.

For now, I’m trying to orient myself in the heterogeneous environments mounted for the course and decide what to use and what to discard: for example, I don’t think I’ll be using Second Life…

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La ragazza che giocava con il fuoco

Immagine di La ragazza che giocava con il fuoco Seconda puntata di Millennium, letta in pochi giorni, come previsto.
Il libro è forse più avvincente del primo, anche se delle descrizioni minuziose degli acquisti di Lisbeth all’Ikea o al supermercato si poteva fare a meno..
Sulla storia sono indeciso: avranno girato (o forse girano ancora) davvero per le nostre strade personaggi come Zala? A ripensare a molti misteri (non solo) italiani si direbbe di sì. In nome della cosiddetta “sicurezza nazionale” si può rovinare la vita di una ragazzina? Temo di sapere la risposta…
Ma super-Lisbeth ha risorse insospettabili, odia sempre di più gli uomini che odiano le donne e neanche un gigante invulnerabile può avere la meglio su di lei, figuriamoci qualche servizio segreto di seconda scelta!
Lo sfondo questa volta è il traffico di prostitute dell’est ma rimane veramente uno sfondo lontano.
Attendiamo la versione italiana del terzo episodio…

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