Dear Fellow Translators Around the World,
I am a full-time freelancer in the US and love this profession and everything related to it. To spread my enthusiasm about my native language, German, I have begun teaching German beginner's language classes our local elemantary schools as part of an after-school program. With only one hour per week, the progress we can make in the course of one year is somewhat limited, but it is a start and I have a chance to talk to the kids about the beautiful country I grew up in and hopefully create enough curiosity so they will want to learn more or maybe even travel to Germany one day.
With this year's Kindergarten and First grade class (5 + 6-year olds) I am trying something new. I am taking the kids on a virtual tour around the world. The first lesson was spent looking at the globe, the different continents, climate zones, we have listened to and started to learn a song that teaches how to say 'hello' in 10 different languages. we will make a passport for everyone and we are now ready to discover the world.
Of course there are a ton of books available that talk about every country under the sun and I have a good idea how to structure my 2x 1-hour visits per country on a level that is fun and educational for these young kids, but the more I mulled the project around in my head, the more I felt an urge to go further and I started to visualize a dream.
What if we all could reach out to all children across the globe to show them they have in common wiht children in unfamiliar countries and cultures? What if we can help them relate to other children who grow up in conditions that vastly different from who they experience their own lives? What if we could show them the beauty in being different and the joy it brings to explore the unknown and the richness different lifestyles and culture can bring to our own homes? Search for the similaries and rejoices in the magnitude of differences.
So now my little 1-hour a week project wants to grow and I envision a website where children from different cultures and background can meet eachother, learn from eachother and communicate. The content should lend itself so that teachers around the world can use the material to enrich their own classrooms and open windows and doors for curious and inqusitive minds.
I don't have the means nor the time to create this project all by myself, and the spirit of this project calls for large scale cooperation anyway. Big dreams have to start with small practical steps, and I would like to get started on bringing the world to the kids in my community in America.
So here is my request to the translator community:
1. Let me know if you are interested in collaborating on this project.
And here is how you can get involved immediately:
1. Suggest a traditional children's song (as simple as possible with many repetitions and please provide a link where we can purchase an MP3 of the song if possible) and provide an English translation.
2. Please translate the song "Frere Jacques" (sample on itune by Countdown Kids) into youor native language - we are practicing harmonizing in different languages and the effect is awesome!
3. We want to learn about your country from a child's perspective. If you know about a book or English website that I like and feel is representative, please suggest it.
4. Your favorite "native" contemerary song.
5. We would love to meet another school class in a different country, so if we can collect video clips of school classes saying hello to us, tellings us where they live, names, sing a song or show a favorite game, food, picture, count from 1 to 12, that would be great.
We will be traveling to Germany first (a little bias here ) and then move on to Kenya
(anyone who can render a translation of and provide the words for: Kuna Milima Na Mabonde sung by the African Children's Choir?). Next tentative stops are India, Korea and Mexico, but the idea really is to eventually collect enough material and make it publically available so we and any other English based classroom can visit every country in the world.
I would love to take our 5th and 6th graders on an extended virtual tour to Iraq and Afghanistan next year. Let them meet the children and maybe establish relationships that foster an exchange of ideas without judgment, the explores differences without wrongs and rights. What if... we can all raise a generation of explorer who aren't afraid of the unknown, who want to learn more about other cultures, who respect differences and who understand the importance of global community and global communication.
Ideas, suggestions, feedback, input all appreciated and desired.
Thank + let's see if we can all dream and create together...
[Edited at 2008-10-12 23:48]
[Edited at 2008-10-13 01:41]
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