Comment Challenge and the Googlish Rosetta Stone

Today’s task for the 31 Day Comment Challenge was to find a blog in another language, translate it and then post a comment on that blog in the language of the owner. Intriguing. But interesting, and certainly it was something I had not yet ever done before. I keep to the English language, which seems so parochial these days, doesn’t it?

I should have known that Google would come to the rescue, though. I tapped into Google Translater and then translated the key words “elementary education” into spanish, and then used Google Blog Search to find some Spanish blogs. I toggled back and forth with Google Translator, trying to find a blog that interested me. So many were pure political blogs, talking about revolution and insurrection. Perhaps that is a glimpse of the underground world where blogs are the main platform for activism against governments.

Anyway, I found Fermin Tellez, a blogger from Monterrey, Mexico.

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Fermin was writing about a historical figure from his community (Michael Martinez). Martinez was an educator, but also a musician, artist and writer. That is a combination of talents that interests me. So I was curious about the place Martinez has in Fermin’s community. I went into Google Translater and created this comment:


Please forgive my language here, as I am using the Google Translater to go from English to Spanish. I am visiting your blog as part of a project called the 31 Day Comment Challenge, and one of the tasks is to visit a blog from another language than our own.
I teach 11 and 12 year olds in Western Massachusetts, United States. I am their writing teacher.

I was interested in the blog post you created because I am intrigued by music and education, and the place that musicians have in society. It seems clear that Michael F. Martinez was important figure in your community. Senor Martinez clearly had many skills (musician, artist, politician, educator).

Did you create this blog post to remember him?

Thank you

Kevin Hodgson


SaludosPor favor, perdone mi idioma aquí, como estoy utilizando el traductor de Google para ir de Inglés a Español. Estoy visitando su blog como parte de un proyecto denominado el Día 31 Comentario Challenge, y una de las tareas es la de visitar un blog de otra lengua que la nuestra.
Enseño 11 y 12 años de edad en el oeste de Massachusetts, Estados Unidos. Estoy escribiendo su maestro.

Yo estaba interesado en el blog que ha creado porque estoy intrigado por la música y la educación, y el lugar que los músicos tienen en la sociedad. Parece claro que Michael F. Martínez fue figura importante en su comunidad. Señor Martínez claramente había muchas habilidades (músico, artista, político, educador).

¿Te ha crear este blog para recordar él?


Kevin Hodgson

Of course, I wonder if Google Translator did a good job with my words. And I wish that Fermin had an About Me page at his site, so I could have learned more about him. Then, I thought, do I have an About Me here at my site? Need to check. I used to but I think it is gone now.
Have you gone off to any non-native language blogs today?
La Paz (en una gira mundial),
  1. I’m no Spanish ace but it looks reasonably good to me, good enough to get your point across and definitely no accidental offensive mistakes there! Good job. I’d be curious to see if A) the blogger responds and B) what language he responds in.

  2. Hi Kevin
    I read your comment on my blog about Miguel F Martínez post, I understood everything you were trying to comment.
    On my blog, I post about different subjects or news happening around my hometown Monterrey (México).
    Most of the teachers in my city study in a school called “Miguel F Martínez” in honor of that intelligent man who lived in Monterrey many years ago.

    I’m afraid I have no “About me” section on my blog yet.
    But I think you did it very good on your comment challenge day 24 !
    by the way, I’m a teacher too !
    Good Day !
    in case you need this comment in Spanish….

    Hola Kevin
    Leí tu firma en post sobre Miguel F Martínez de mi blog, entendí todo lo que tratabas de decirme.
    En mi blog, trato de escribir sobre noticias o cosas que pasan en mi ciudad natal Monterrey (México).
    La mayoría de los maestros en mi ciudad estudian en una escuela llamada “Miguel F Mertínez” en honor a este hombre inteligente que vivió en Monterrey hace muchos años.

    Me temo que todavía no tengo una sección de “Acerca de mi” en el blog.
    Pero creo que lo hiciste muy bien en tu día número 24 del reto.
    Por cierto, también soy maestro !
    Buen Día !

  3. Interesting prompt and a strong effort to use the tools to support this exercise. Interesting possibilities down the road to support communication on the web. But I think I will live vicariously through you on this one, although it would be interesting for me to try in Hebrew, but for now I’m going to save it.
    Thanks for the effort,

  4. Greeting again, Fermin.

    Thanks for the reply (in both languages).

    What age levels do you teach? Are there any specific areas that you teach (ie, math, writing, science, etc)?

    Also, if you don’t mind me asking, why do you blog? What do you get out of it?

    I blog as a way to share, connect with others and reflect on what I am doing as a teacher. I also use my blog as a writer who is exploring this Web 2.0 space and its possibilities.


    Felicitaciones de nuevo, Fermín.

    Gracias por la respuesta (en ambos idiomas).

    ¿Qué niveles de edad, ¿enseñar? ¿Hay áreas específicas que usted enseñar (es decir, matemáticas, escritura, ciencias, etc)?

    Además, si no te importa me pregunta, ¿por qué blog? ¿Qué podrá salir de él?

    I blog como una manera de compartir, conectar con otros y reflexionar sobre lo que estoy haciendo como un maestro. También utilizo mi blog como un escritor que está estudiando esta web 2,0 espacio y sus posibilidades.


  5. Bonnie

    No Hebrew in Google Translator (I just checked). I wonder why not?

    And, Nancy, thanks for stopping by and giving me a heads up on my translation. (how’s the baby?)


  6. i’m not surprised about the Hebrew. It’s a minority language. If you look for Hebrew language tapes at a bookstore you won’t find much. Oh well. There’s Hebrew On Line. Lesson 3 tomorrow night!
    I like the conversation sparked here.

  7. My guess on Hebrew is that it’s a technical issue with right-to-left languages. I know that on some of their apps, like Google Docs, support for right-to-left languages wasn’t added until after the initial release.

  8. Hola de nuevo Kevin, sabes, uso mi blog para compartir videos, fotografías o noticias sobre cultura que otras páginas no ofrecen. También, me gusta leer libros de Historia de Monterrey. En mis posts siempre hay un “puente” entre lo que sucede hoy con lo que sucedió en el pasado.
    He estado escribiendo sobre Monterrey en páginas desde 1997, tenía una página en y ahora como blogger, me siento muy feliz porque no solo ven mi ágian gente mexicana sino gente de muchos paises.
    Blogueo como pasatiempo (no tengo Adsense en mi blog), lo hago por diversión.
    Al mismo tiempo , blogear es una buena manera de aprender las nuevas tecnologías (del web 2.0) Enseño a alumnos de 15 años y más en una escuela preparatoria en la Universidad, estoy dando clases de computación, básicamente programación.
    Bueno, mañana ya es Lunes, Que tengas buen fin de semana !
    No olvides, cuando viajes a México, trata de llegar un par de días a Monterrey (ciudad de 5 millones de personas) estoy seguro que encontrarás cosas interesantes que hacer.
    Nos vemos Kevin !

    Hi again Kevin, you know, I use my blog to share videos, photos or cultural news that other sites in Monterrey don’t publish. Also, I like to read History books about Monterrey. In my posts you can see a “bridge” between nowadays and historical pictures.
    I’ve been writing about Monterrey on websites this since 1997 I used to do it in a website and now as a blogger, I’m feeling very happy because not only mexicans but people from different countries search for Monterrey stuff.
    I blog for a hobbie ( I have no google adsense in my blog), it’s just for fun.
    At the same time blogging is a good way to learn about new technologies (web2.0), I teach 15 year olds and olders in a local high school and also at a Universty, I’m in charge of the computer lab, teach programming basicly.
    Well tomorrow’s Monday, have a good week !
    Don’t forget, When you travel to Mexico, try to stop a couple of days or more in Monterrey ( a 5 million people city ), Im preety sure, you will find interesting things to do !
    See you Kevin !

  9. Hola Fermín
    Me gusta esa idea de un “puente” en la historia, desde el presente hacia el pasado. Ustedes han sido los blogs mucho más largo que tengo y si tiene visitantes de todo el mundo, que muestra el poder de la web, ¿verdad?
    Mantener el buen trabajo y gracias por su visita aquí y dejar comentarios, y que me permite explorar la forma en que la web puede romper algunas barreras del idioma.

    Hello Fermin
    I love that idea of a “bridge” in history, from the present to the past. You have been blogging a lot longer than I have and if you have visitors from all over the world, that shows the power of the web, right?
    Keep up the good work and thank you for visiting here and leaving comments, and allowing me to explore how the web can break down some language barriers.

  10. Kevin / Fermín

    A great example of how this activity could work with educators reaching out to others in a different country.

    Have you decided which language you will be using to communicate with each other in the future?

    Kevin / Fermín

    Un gran ejemplo de cómo esta actividad podría trabajar con los educadores llegar a los otros en un país diferente.

    ¿Ha decidido qué idioma que se utiliza para comunicarse unos con otros en el futuro?

  11. This is excellent. I shied away from doing this activity because I doubted how well Google would be able to translate … think I’ll have to go back and try it after all!

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