On October 19 through 26, 2005, I traveled to Warsaw Poland to participate in the Warsaw Electronic Festival where I delivered a public lecture on October 22. This lecture, titled "Imaging Place," was translated into Polish.
I spent October 23 to 25 producing the fieldwork media for the "Imaging Warsaw" project.
On October 25, I was invited to participate in a two-hour interview on the "Future Shock" program on RadioJazz, Warsaw. This interview was translated into Polish.
I was invited to give a talk during the Warsaw Electronic Festival at Zacheta Narodowa Galeria Sztuki (the national gallery of Warsaw) last week. The lecture was translated into Polish by a professional translator. We were going over my note before hand and she caught the word electracy in the part where I was going to talk about you, Greg, and our collaboration. She was taken aback because, of course there is no Polish equivalent. She scratched her head and came up with "elektrobetyzacja". Someone said it sounded like some sort of medical procedure.
On October 29, 2005 4:14:04 PM William L. Tilson wrote: Craig:
I am fond of this: perhaps, like "zeigeist" or "unheimleich" elektrobetyzacja will enter our vocabulary more quickly : Why just the other I told one of my colleagues that "the new attitude towards literacy in the 21st century is, as the Poles say, "elektrobetyzacja " :-)
On October 30, 2005 8:24:14 AM Greg wrote:
A similar issue arose when Ron Kenley invited me to participate in the Alto library competition judging process, if I'm not mistaken. In that case it involved translation into French. What is "electracy" in French? "electracy"! or maybe le electracy (cf le drug store, le weekend). Ron, do you remember anything about that? I like Polish because of the stegasaurus tail of consonants at the end. When pronounced don't they just come out sort of a slushy? I gave a talk at a conference in Hamburg in 1995 that was simultaneously translated into German. I can't remember if I used the word electracy though.
Data: Niedziela, 30 Pazdziernik 2005 13:42 Craig wrote:
Hello Dagmara, I am writing to say thank you for the excellent job you did translating my lecture at Zacheta. It was really fun working with you. As I had suspected, there is some interest in your solution to the translation of electracy among my colleagues. Can you tell us the reversed meaning when elektrobetyzacja is translated back into English? And/or what is the literal translation of betyzacja?
On October 31, 2005 1:08:55 PM Dagmara wrote:
Hello Craig, No problem, the pleasure was mine and I did have a nice change from the topics I deal with every day at work. I must also admit it was a challenge because you, artists, are always so unpredictable and I never know what to expect.
Let me explain how I coined the Polish equivalent of electracy. In doing it I was trying to be as analogous as possible to the structure of ELECTRACY. Since the word ELECTRACY was made in the following way: in LIT-ERACY you exchanged LIT for ELECTR (indicating the electronic element), I did the same, only in Polish. The Polish equivalent of LITERACY usually is PISMIENNICTWO (which is a nice Polish word, not very often used, slightly archaic I would even say), but to my mind you can also say ALFABETYZACJA instead and people should understand you in Polish (which is more of a borrowing so I guess it is not so nice and Polish but it lends itself much better to the transformation). And then, in ALFA-BETYZACJA, if you echange ALFA with ELEKTRO you easily arrive at ELEKTROBETYZACJA, which does not really mean anything in Polish but if a Polish person heard it I suppose they would associate it with something to do with electronic (because of the prefix ELEKTRO-) and with a process of BE-coming (because of the suffix -BETYZACJA). I hope my explanation was clear and understandable for you - I don't know how much of a linguistic background you have so I was trying to sound as simple and logical as possible. If you have anything further questions, do not hesitate to contact me, although I do think it was just a simple and almost a mathematical transformation, I was only trying to mirror what happened in the original (i.e. in English).
I was contacted by another person about translating "electracy" into Polish (What's up in Warsaw!?). I passed along our invent conversation, and below is her reply. You can probably guess which word I chose.
---------- Forwarded message ----------
Thanks for your fast reply and the posts you forwarded. Unfortunately, I agree that it seems to be impossible to somewhat incorporate "trace" (in Polish: "Alad" - "slad" with a little apostrophe above "s") into the word. I don't think there's any way to combine elektro+slad+an ending of any translation of "literacy".
As for "elektrobetyzacja" vs "elektralnosc", the choice of one of these terms depends on what aspect of electracy we wish to stress. If we choose "elektralnosc", we put emphasis on the Ongian and later opossition/continuation of orality/literacy/electracy (meaning electracy as an ability to use the technology/medium and at the same time a state of consciousness made possible by the medium: thinking WITH the medium). If we choose "elektrobetyzacja", we put emphasis on the educational process (teaching HOW TO use the medium; "alfabetyzacja" means literacy tuition). Which one do you think is more suitable?
It may be useful to remember that the free trade union movement in Gdansk shipyard led by Lech Walesa that changed Poland politically in the two decades from 1980 was called Solidarnosc.