Human Collaboration in Digital Media & Language Translation

duolingo-bannerThe rise of social media has allowed people to remain connected to friends and family across the globe bringing a sense of community into the digital world. Social Networking sites like Facebook are aimed at college student population to make friends and share life updates through while others like LinkedIn are work-oriented. Through these networks of social bubble people are able to work collectively in an environment to add “friends” who can post comments, share photos and message one another. People on Facebook can join groups based on interests, hobbies, interests, musical tastes, and more through a collective environment.

However, social networking sites (SNS) are moving into a new area that allows for human collaborative to aid in the work of translation. In the TED talks, by Luis von Ahn, he talks about the CAPTCHA, which is a device that is used to determine whether a user is a robot and how it can generate words from randomization. From this idea he presents a new social network application known as “Duolingo” to help millions of people learn a new language. It is a site where a person can connect with friends and learn languages. It can be completive with weekly goals and challenges against friends. However, the purpose of the application, “Duolingo” is that while the user is learning a language, they are also translating sentences and words in other languages from the internet library of not translated sources.

The human collaborative aspect of this new form of a social networking site allows for people to educate and remain connected with other translators while helping to close the language gap on the Internet. It is significant in the shift of SNS to simply using them as a way to kill time but for companies and the digital world to benefit from the creativity of the application. Collaboration on the internet leads to more innovative thinking, it allows for SNS to be customizable to taste that brings together a collection of people who can benefit from furthering their intellect. The use of online tools and applications that connect with SNSs can connect the globe allowing people from both digital natives and immigrants feel a part of a larger, innovative learning community.

Work Cited:

Boyd, d. & Ellison, N. (2007). “Social Network Sites: Definition, History, and Scholarship.” Journal of Computer-Mediated Communication, 13 (1), article 11. Retrieved from

Ellison, N., Steinfield, C. & C. Lampe. (2007). “The Benefits of Facebook “Friends”: Social Capital and College Students’ Use of Online Social Network Sites”, Journal of Computer Mediated Communication, Vol 12, No 4, pp. 1143-1168 Retrieved from

Von Ahn, L. (2011, April) Massive-scale online collaboration (TED Talks) Retrieved from

Von Ahn, L. (2011, April) Massive-scale online collaboration (TED Talks) Retrieved from


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