AGM 2000

Annual Members' Meeting 2002

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Report from the Chair of the WAOE Multilingual Coordinator

Namaste and Salam walai Kum from Germany, dear WAOE members and officers,

I, Arun Kumar Tripathi, am attending the 2002 Annual General Members' Meeting and would like to respond as best I can to the questions and concerns raised here at the meeting.

It is an exquisite hono(u)r for me to present the 2001-2002 WAOE Multilingual Project Report. The WAOE Multilingual Project has gone for three years, successfully raising primary concerns, since it was unveiled at 1999 First Annual Members' Meeting. The 1998-1999 WAOE Multilingual Project report can be seen at http://www.waoe.org/npo/AMM1999/arun1999.htm Also see the report for our Annual Members' Meeting 2000 at http://www.waoe.org/AMM2000/arun.htm

I am glad that many members have already posted their views regarding Multilingualism and Multiculturalism on the Net. Also see the WAOE-VIEWS archives at http://www.egroups.com/messages/waoe-views/, especially for mid-1999 when a topic of the Annual Meeting was how to make the Internet more multilingual and multicultural. Earlier in 1999 WAOE had also held a World Culture Festival Online.

As far as Statistics is concerned I have found, according to Global Reach http://www.euromktg.com, that the fastest growing groups of Web newbies are non-English speaking, such as Spanish 22.4%, Japanese 12.3%, German 14%, French 10%. An estimated 55.7 million people whose native language is not English access the Web.

Now the Multilingual Project is one of the most important among WAOE projects and activities, because the World Association for Online Education supports multiculturalism and world regional initiatives. The project details can be read at http://www.waoe.org/site/projects.htm.

WAOE has now been made available to the world of educators in ten languages, including Japanese, German, Italian, Spanish, Hindi, Estonian, Russian, Chinese, Portuguese, French, and Malay http://www.geocities.com/begumwaoe/waoe.html

The WAOE site in Japanese is at http://waoe.org/japanese/index.html and made by Keiko Schneider. The WAOE site in Chinese at http://gecmall.com/waoe/ is made by Alex Liu. The WAOE site in Spanish at http://www.waoe.org/espanol/index.htm is made by Dr. Rafael Molina. The WAOE site in Portuguese at http://www.tele.ed.nom.br/waoe.htm is made by Prof. Roberto Mueller. For WAOE information in Russian or Estonian, please contact Dr. Mihkel Pilv at info@miksike.ee. For WAOE info in French, please contact nfo in Hindi or German, please contact Arun Kumar Tripathi at tripathi@informatik.tu-darmstadt.de. For WAOE in German or Italian, please contact Prof. Roberto Andrea Mueller at rmueller@mail.ufv.br. During the Annual Members' Meeting 2000, we also discussed the issues on the "diversity of languages and the Web" which can be read at http://www.waoe.org/AMM2000/arun.htm

After reading the Annual Report (AMM 2000) of Multilingual Coordinator, Professor Jenna Seehafer raises a good concern as "What Language Should Meetings Be In?":

"Some of the issues you have raised set me to thinking about how WAOE may operate in a few years with its multiple websites in various languages and its international membership of educators.So far I've been protected from having to translate everything because the English speakers (from whatever country) have been in the majority. . .I'd have to rely on others (very good, quick translators) to keep up with reading any general discussion in a language other than English, French, or Spanish; and with the last two, my responses would be almost unreadable, and I would probably misread much of what is written. (In a conversation I attempted in Spanish with a new member recently, I told him, among other things that may not have been quite right, that he should go to the home page to find the striped language representative for Spanish!)

I do admire polyglots like you, Arun (and Roberto). Thinking this way reinforces my feeling that our meetings need to be longer and slower than we would expect in face to face situations, if only to allow those we have been disadvantaging by our preference for English to keep up and participate."

Sincerely yours,

Arun Kumar Tripathi

WAOE Multilingual Coordinator, Public Information Committee

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