Many Pies

Many Pies

Monday, February 04, 2013

Tim Berners-Lee and an anecdote involving Bible Translation

In 2008 Tim Berners-Lee founded the World Wide Web Foundation. In the speech where he announced it he told an interesting anecdote:
This person, this man had taught himself English by using various books that he’d come across. Among them are the bible I understand, something that he could get in both languages. Having taught himself English and having got some sort of rudimentary Internet connection, then he could sell his services as a translator on the open market out there in the big wide world. He could not only – so he could bring money into the village but also he could be a channel to bring information into the village. He could translate the stuff that was out there into the village. And he could operate – so he could enable commerce.
The reason he told it was because he was talking about access to the internet could enable development goals. Naturally, given my job, the thing that interested me was the fact that having the Bible in English and presumably his own language, was what enabled him to sell his translation services.

(I first heard about this anecdote on the Guardian Tech Weekly podcast.)
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