Kemon achhen!

Posted by Amna Singh on August 02, 2018

Team StoryWeaver was in Kolkata in June for our second Translation Hackathon (you can read all about our first one here). 15 volunteer participants, a healthy mix of teachers and language students, came together to version more than 40 stories in Bangla over one weekend. The goal of the hackathon was to facilitate not only the translation of level 1 and 2 book to Bangla, but to also ensure peer led reviews of the translations.

We reached out to Sudeshna Moitra, a language teacher with over 34 years to help us not only find and bring together enthusiastic participants, but to also facilitate the workshop and mentor the volunteers. Sudeshna Ma’am has written 'Banan Tanan' a tome used by many Bengali writers. She writes for a number of Bengali blogs, and is also the editor of Sahajpath. As a resource person in Alamin Mission she organises training workshops for teacher on language teaching.

Sudeshna Ma’am believes that “Translation of stories helps to transmit thoughts into other languages, breaking the barrier of geographical distance, religion, and culture.”

The hackathon opened with a warm introduction and Sudeshna Ma’am set the agenda for the two day hackathon. Participants were familiarized with the Pratham Books mission and the power of open licenses. Rajesh Khar, Pratham Books Editor, spoke about the nuances of translating for children, levelled readers and also exposed them to the best practices followed by our team of Language Editors. Rajesh ensured that the participants - language students and teachers working with the children from underserved communities - had much clarity to the end goal of weaving quality books that were freely accessible for the last child.

Sudeshna Moitra sets the agenda for the workshop.

“We had curated a list of stories that we wanted to see translated through the workshop. These were level 1 and 2 stories published by Pratham Books, BookDash, ASP and the StoryWeaver community. We assigned the stories to each participant before the workshop keeping in mind their particular strengths. They were asked to read each story a few times to familiarise themselves with the story and it’s nuances. But the idea was for also for them to tap into the collective learnings and energy of the group to weave their translations.” shared Amna Singh, Associate Language Editor, Pratham Books.

Participants busy translating

One of the participants, Suman Das, a Head Master Of Chalitatali Prathamik Vidyalaya of Nadia said that once the clock started ticking the participants gathered speed and completed half their allotted books before lunch. Once they had translated the stories Sudeshna Ma’am reviewed each and every story with some receiving a green signal to publish. After lunch, a discussion on the need for level appropriate words in translation was had. “Some of us, including myself used some words which weren't appropriate for the age group the stories were intended for.” shared the Head Master.

Discussions and healthy debates

Peer -to-peer review of translations

Mentoring and feedback

The next day, peer led review of stories lead to new words being included, some that were more soothing to the ear.

The hackathon was a lively space for discussion and debate: how to make translations child-friendly, keeping the words level-appropriate, importing cultural references (or not) while translating a story. This lead us to understand that a handy glossary of examples demonstrating Pratham Books’ editorial stance on translation for the last child would be helpful at our next hackathon.

It was also wonderful to see participants use robust local language keyboards which we documented to see if we could integrate the libraries into StoryWeaver.

“The workshop has provided a platform among teachers, students and translators to translate great stories in vernacular; now more children will access these stories.” Sudeshna Ma’am shared at the end of the workshop.

Participants left with plans to take StoryWeaver to their respective schools and we have already heard back from Subimal Pramanik, Assistant Primary Teacher of Swarupnagar North 24 pargonas about this.

“I have already started a new class where there is reading and learning with StoryWeaver. Students enjoyed the trial session very much and I have decided to continue with the sessions.” 

We’re also very excited about a the StoryWeaver workshop that Suman Das will be conducting for 17 primary teachers from 12 schools in the Nadia district on 5th August.

Everything just came together so well over the weekend – the hunger for good stories, the energy of the language students, the wisdom of the teachers, their shared passion for Bangla. We can’t wait for our next hackathon!

You can read all the stories translated at the hackathon here

Bhalo thakun!

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One Day, One Story...Many Languages!

Posted by Amna Singh on September 05, 2018

Pratham Books' One Day, One Story is back with story reading sessions for children across India! On September 8, Pratham Books Champions all over India will use one book to conduct reading sessions for children in their communities. All sessions are conducted free of cost, and focus on children from under-served communities. You can read more about this event here.

This year, Season 7 of One Day, One Story will feature A Cloud of Trash, written by Karanjeet Kaur, and illustrated by Bhavana Vyas Vipparthi. It’s a story about a little girl called Cheekoo, who has a cloud of trash hanging over her head. This makes her very, very unhappy, and as we follow her story, we learn a little more about trash, and about keeping our surroundings clean.

Last year, 5700+ Champions took the story of Kottavi Raja and his Sleepy Kingdom to thousands of children – conducting 6300+ storytelling sessions in 26 languages, in 25 states and 3 union territories in India. As well as 13 other countries.

We need your help to help children discover the joy of stories, and fall in love with reading. The more languages a story is translated in, the more it will travel to be read and enjoyed by children.

A Cloud of Trash, a reading level 2 story, is already available in English, Hindi, Kannada, Tamil, Gujarati, Konkani, Marathi, Bengali, Odia, Sanskrit, Punjabi, Telugu, Maithili and also, in Surjapuri and International languages like Portuguese, Basa Sunda, French, Spanish, Bahasa Indonesia, Czech, Italian, Norwegian,and Chinese too. Join in as a Translation Volunteer to translate this story to a new language. Your contribution to add a language version of this story on StoryWeaver will go a long way in multiplying the number of PB Champs' reading sessions and in turn, help reach more and more kids. We have also created a level 1 version of this story for sessions with a younger audience. You can weave a translation of this version too if you like. 

Wouldn’t that be lovely?  

We need all the translations to be on the site before 30th August.

If you have any queries please write to us at [email protected]

Here's a quick and easy video tutorial on how to translate stories on StoryWeaver. Once you've seen it, you can head over to the site to start translating A Cloud of Trash.

P.s: If you're interested in joining us as a PB Champ this year, click here to enrol.


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Workshop Announcement: Reading  with StoryWeaver in Namma Bengaluru

Posted by Remya Padmadas on August 30, 2018

StoryWeaver invites educators and resource people from organisations to attend a workshop to be held in Bengaluru on 6th and 11th September in Koramangala. Participants will gain an understanding of how to use StoryWeaver with the children they work with. This includes how to:

  • Browse, read & curate a reading list from over 9000 stories across 118 languages

  • Download stories for offline reading

  • Create a new story or a set of flashcards from an image bank of over 11000 illustrations

  • Re-Level / Re-Mix a story to suit your child's needs
  • Translate stories to a language of your choice 

And best of all, ALL of this is absolutely FREE!

To celebrate language diversity, we are planning to conduct the workshop session in English on the 6th and in Kannada on the 11th.  You are requested to give your preference for the date/language while signing up. However, just in case we are not able to attract enough participation for the Kannada workshop, we will be looking at doing a bilingual one. Please do make a note of this.

The workshop would cover the following:-

  • A demonstration of StoryWeaver and the platform's key functionalities
  • Examples of how educators are using StoryWeaver effectively in their classrooms
  • Dedicated work time for participants to try their hands on StoryWeaver
  • An opportunity to meet other educators and have interesting conversations

Participants at a recent StoryWeaver workshop.

If this excites you, REGISTER HERE to book your place in the workshop, latest by 3rd September, Monday.  

Please note that the seats are limited and we might not be able to accommodate more than 2-3 people per organization.  Confirmed participants will get a separate email confirming their participation and other logistical details. 

The workshop will be held between 10 a.m to 4.30 p.m and there is no fee to attend the workshop.

Feel free to reach out with any questions to Khyati at [email protected].

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