Polyglit.com--redefining how books are translated.
The traditional way to translate books is over! Yoonmi Kim, the owner of Polyglit.com, says, "With our increasingly global community, it has become critical to understand the world's diverse cultures. What better way to do that than through the books the world's cultures use to define themselves? Despite the demand from librarians, schools, universities, and readers, publishers seem too scared to take risks on books that don't fit stereotypes." Now Polyglit.com will fill the void, and the world can translate its own literature.
Polyglit promises to be a community where you can find translations, and you can learn a new language while doing so. Complete versions of the text will be offered or will be broken down into readily accessible chapters for the reader's convenience. For those interested in translating, our translation interface will break down the text into individual sentences.
For each text there will be a team in charge of translating including a head moderator, language moderators, head translator, translators, spot translators, and editors. Team members come from the general public and can sign up for the projects they are interested in. Even if they don't know a language or are just starting, they can learn through the website by comparing the original text and the translation. Members can also add translation notes about the language or culture. Corrections to previous sentences will appear in the users' profiles, allowing translators to learn from their mistakes.
Online versions will be open access. Print versions of the text, edited by a professional translator, will be for sale by app and e-reader. The website will generate additional income from advertisements and subscriptions. Polyglit has based itself on previous successful models including Duolingo, Viki.com, wikipedia and Lang8.
The pilot project is called "Hong Gil Dong" which is best described as a "Korean Robin Hood" and is notable for being the first book to be written in the modern Korean alphabet. It has been adapted multiple times in Korea. The book is about Gil Dong, an illegitimate child who lives in the Joseon Dynasty and steals from the rich to give to the poor. He's wanted by the king, and is ordered to be captured, but manages to free himself. He eventually establishes Yul-do where he becomes a King and hero.
Kim has found a programmer, Corinne Lenox, a graduate of Southern Illinois University, Carbondale with a Bachelor's in Computer Science and Masters in Computer Engineering. If everything goes the way Lenox plans, it will take only a month to program the prototype. Lenox is an avid reader and always likes more books to read. She says, "If translated books are done right, and not sanitized to fit inside the culture of the language they're being translated into, they offer an interesting look into other cultures." She is excited for the opportunity to work on this website.
Polyglit is seeking 8,000 dollars to fund the initial pilot project (initial pay for the programmer and commercial hosting). This is why Yoonmi Kim decided to start a Indiegogo campaign. Thirty days - that is the challenge! From now to August 16th, 2014.
If you would like to learn more about polyglit.com, be sure to check out polyglit.com, or send them a tweet @polyglit.
Rachel Udin/Yoonmi Kim is a Korean Adopted person. She is also an author, does websites professionally, and knows roughly 4 languages (English, French, Korean, Japanese) not very well. She has a background in website design, user experience, cultural anthropology and various arts and crafts. She has also worked for a manga/manhwa translation company and is familiar with the publishing world. She is passionate about the diversity in our world.