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Report by Babels-el on the languages for the ESF 2006
24 April 2006
(Date: 25 April 2006)
1-Important information for all participants
1/ Important Information
Thanks to several months’ mobilization in Eastern Europe, Babels-el has succeeded in confirming a great number of volunteer interpreters from this region to participate in the ESF. As a result, Babels will provide interpretation for more European languages than ever before.
We strongly encourage members of this list to notify their organizations and networks that interpretation will be provided for the languages below.
Languages are not only about transmitting ideas, but are also the cradle for new ideas. This is why we push for the presence of a much larger number of languages in Social Forums, allowing more and different people to express themselves and participate in the debates. By increasing the number of languages with interpretation from 4 to over 20 different languages, we allow more people to participate, and not only the fortunate intellectuals and activists who have been trained to speak and to understand neo-colonial languages.
It is essential that you inform your delegations that they will have interpretation for the following languages, in the hope of increasing the participation to the ESF this year of people from countries heretofore “under-represented”.
All 30 seminar rooms will be provided with simultaneous interpretation by Babels volunteers into up to 5 languages per room.
Example: Arabic will be available in up to 4 rooms for each session, Greek will be available in all rooms for all sessions, etc.
Note: the figures above are purely indicative. There may be more or less activities with Polish interpretation, for instance, on Thursday than on Friday. But it is possible that for one shift there is no activity with Polish interpretation. This depends on the needs of the program as expressed by participating organizations during the registration process.
For those who have not indicated any language requirements, Babels chose the languages.
Last-minute changes concerning languages for each seminar will be posted on the Babels website www.babels.org and, hopefully, on the Athens ESF website too.
We wish to inform all participant organizations and networks that Babels did not translate the program of the ESF. We are not responsible for any inaccuracies in the program.
Babels wishes to inform all participating organizations and networks that the following problems have, or may, seriously hinder the estimates above:
Lack of mobilization for Turkish interpreters. Over the past few months, the Turkish Social Forum has blocked all attempts at mobilizing Turkish interpreters for the ESF. Instead, Turkish interpreters were “reserved” by the Turkish delegation for their own private use, and prevented from registering to Babels for the Forum, or volunteers were systematically misinformed: several interpreters were repeatedly given false information by the Turkish Social Forum so as to discourage them from registering for this forum as Babels volunteers. As a consequence, there will be a lower-than-needed number of Turkish interpreters. We can only regret this, as this will hurt the rest of the participants in this ESF who will not be able to express themselves in Turkish.
Important reminder: we remind you that only Babels volunteer interpreters will be allowed in the booths in all 30 seminar rooms during the duration of the ESF. Non-Babels volunteers found in a booth will be summarily shot.
Visas. The Greek Organizing Committee is doing its utmost to speed up the process to issue visas to volunteers from non-EU citizens. At the moment, a substantial number of volunteers are still waiting for their visa to be delivered. If these volunteers do not receive their visa, we may have to reduce the number of languages covered by Babels.
Radios. We very strongly advise you to bring your own portable radio to the ESF to listen to the interpretation, as there will be a very small number of radios for sale at the venue (only 4.500 for the moment], and we already know that there will be a shortage of radios for sale elsewhere in Athens. Do not wait to arrive in Athens to purchase a radio: you will be disappointed by the quality of the radios for sale, and you will pay a high price for whatever is available. Please inform your delegations.
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