Monday, April 18, 2011

Towards a multi-lingual typosphere?

The NY Times article really created quite a spin-off. Recently, German on-line platform wrote a very nice article on the on-going typosphere activities.
Which brings me to an aspect which has not been much of a topic yet: language and the typosphere. Just as with the internet in its early days, English is the predominant language of the typosphere. A look at the typosphere map will confirm this. A closer look however will reveal some exceptions to the rule: Frank's and Dirk's pages are in Dutch, or mixed Dutch and English. I use German on occasion. So far, I haven't come across typecasts in other languages. They probably exist, but are not mapped yet.
My guess is that rather sooner than later, the news will spread and typecasts in languages other than English will appear, just as it happened with the internet, and internet domains.
Will it be connected or parallel typospheres? I had this thought when visiting the Perrier typewriter museum in Lausanne, Switzerland. Last year I had joined the Swiss typewriter collector's club. It turns out that all of the members are from the Swiss-German part of the country, with good connections to the German collector's association. I asked Jacques Perrier on how collectors are organized in the French speaking part of Switzerland. It seems that most are members of the French collector's association (e.g., ANCMECA), and that there is little to no exchange with the German-speaking community. So it seems that multi-linguism (more precisely: several parallel mono-linguistic spaces) on the one hand is a positive statement of pluralism, on the other hand entails a certain degree of separation.
The links of a multi-lingual typosphere will be multi-lingual typospherians or mixed-language blogs. Maybe there will be means for automated translation of typecasts in the future (at this stage, because they are pictures, typecasts escape OCR). In any event, I  invite readers of this note to typecast in any language and make this a truly global event!


mpclemens said...

Yes, Please! The only reason this site is in English is because I'm barely functional in its use. I'm perfectly happy to have postings and links in any language. There is a U.S.-bias at the moment, but I would be happy to see that change. And if it makes sense to have parallel efforts, we'll be happy to link them up.

Richard P said...

Very nice to see that article about our "globale Bewegung"!

MTCoalhopper said...

Isn't it ironic how we Anglo-centric folk get so excited about machines with umlauts, accents, and non-QWERTY keyboards? I'm having fun just failing to read some of the new blogs which are popping up.

Indeed, the revolution will be typewritten, and it will be in the native languages of the respective revolutionaries.

Strikethru said...

I've always loved Dirk's blog although my Dutch is, uh, a little rusty. OK, I don't know a word of it. I totally encourage people to typecast in any and all languages they know. The audience is listening.