At Third Sector Web we have always delivered our web sites for clients with translation embedded into the pages. Helping to spread news and information across communities in languages other than English.
The BBC World Service recently updated their news on a service that enables Bangla speakers to get English lessons via their mobile phones.
In Bangladesh, the project lead, Sara Chamberlain, was also able to persuade service providers in the country to make the English lessons available at half the pre-existing mobile rates.
‘Bangla is one of the world’s great languages. Tagore, the giant of Bengali literature, was the first person from Asia to become a Nobel laureate back in 1913. So it’s not surprising that following independence from Pakistan in 1971, Bangla was adopted as the language of instruction in Bangladesh’s schools and colleges.
The unintended consequence has been that English has waned over the last few decades…the vast majority of young people have gone through the education system without picking up the ability to speak or understand spoken English’.
The Janala service has hundreds of short, three minute English lessons available for free, from any web enabled computer. A great use of technology in a learning environment.
As you know we are great fans of the Opera web browser.
Light in weight, feature rich and safe to use. The ‘speed dial’ function of the browser is great for keeping a cluster of web sites which are in development only one click away.
Opera have recently launched, on their blog, a ‘world tour’ of the Opera Education programme. Visits to universities include the U.K. and are designed to promote web standards, innovation and debate about the web with young people and academics.
The Opera Education site has some useful links too. It has a growing collection of tutorials. They are all useful, offering insights into how to construct web sites, or rather what to look for in a proposition to build a useful web site. As you would expect, there is a wide range of information on how to deploy web standards in your work or site.
At Thirdsectorweb we wholly support the application of standards and clear thinking in design. We temper our passion for standards though, recognising that delivering a clients vision is the most important aspect of our work. We take accessibility and sheer usefulness of content as an important way marker in creating projects too.
We do produce sites that miss standards validation because, as in our work to deliver children’s books for example, we utilise a lot of remotely stored data, images and interactivity from sites such as Amazon, which whilst wholly professional are notoriously difficult to make standards compliant because of the nature of their content.
This debate of standards over function is not new, but to our clients function is king, accessibility its helpmate.
You can see the Opera Education site here at http://www.opera.com/education/