Acoustical Liberation: Human Rights in Audio Format

We got wind from the Omniglot Blog about a multilingual online volunteer project that’s going on. The goal is to make audio recordings of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights available in 30 different languages. This is how it works: volunteers pick a language that they can read and speak well; then they follow the script and the instructions given to them, and read the Universal Declaration of Human Rights aloud in that language while recording themselves. When they are satisfied with their version, they simply upload the audio file to the LibriVox website, and it becomes available for anyone’s listening pleasure.

LibriVox is a community of volunteers whose objective is “to make all books in the public domain available, for free, in audio format on the internet.” Volunteers, who don’t need to have any previous experience, work to record audio versions of chapters and documents, in any language. As long as the work is part of the “public domain” (meaning that no one holds the copyright), it is fair game to become a volunteer project, which means that most books published before 1923 are on the to-do list. Click here to learn how you can get involved in what LibriVox calls “acoustical liberation.”

[This blog entry appeared on an older version of Idealist; any broken links are a result of having re-launched our site in Fall 2010.]

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Start Spreading the News…

New Yorkers: Unless you can read over 90 languages, and visit every neighborhood of the entire metro area on a weekly basis to pick up more than 300 publications, how can you keep up with everything that’s going on around the city?

The Independent Press Association of New York offers a (free) way to make it easier: Voices That Must Be Heard, which ” translates and disseminates the best articles from New York’s immigrant and ethnic newspapers and magazines via email and on the internet.”

New Yorkers, no matter what their ethnicity, can gain a lot of perspective on their city and the world by reading this weekly roundup of articles. Readers can become aware of current events that aren’t given emphasis in the mainstream media, they can learn of opinions they wouldn’t have heard from people they know, and they can read articles that they may not have been able to comprehend before they were translated into English.

Even more importantly, many nonprofits, government agencies, and media sources subscribe to Voices That Must Be Heard. Some of them are undoubtedly using the diverse perspectives and news sources to make more informed decisions.

Do you know about any similar efforts going on in other cities or regions of the world? Leave a comment here to let us know.

[This blog entry appeared on an older version of Idealist; any broken links are a result of having re-launched our site in Fall 2010.]

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