Google Wave and collaborative translation

On my jog this morning, I listened to a podcast of a Radio-Canada program called Mi5. In it, they discussed Google Wave, a new tool from Google that’s available only in a pre-beta version, which means at the moment, its accessible by invitation only. (By the way, I have twenty-five invitations to share, if anyone would like to try out this tool. Just email me, and I’ll send you one).

The hosts of the program described Google Wave as a collaborative tool that allows you to exchange ideas with several people at the same time. It’s actually a way to collaboratively email, chat, and revise/create documents with colleagues: a little like Gmail, Google Talk, Twitter, Google Documents and a wiki all rolled into one. It’s a very promising tool, but the Mi5 hosts did acknowledge that the current version has several limitations. For one thing, it’s a little complicated to use and figure out, and for another, few people have access to it.

But even with these disadvantages, Google Wave could be a tool particularly suited to collaborative translation. I’ve already written a post about how I will be incorporating Google Docs into my Introduction to Translation into English course, so it’s not surprising that I’d be interested in the Wave. It would allow students to create, critique, defend, and revise their translations together, in real-time, without having to meet in person. I hope it will soon be available to the general public so that I can incorporate it into my course and see what my students think about using Google Wave vs. Google Docs to complete their group assignments.

If you’d like to check out a video that shows 15 features of Google Wave, there’s one here on Youtube. Have any translators out there used this tool for a translation project? What about translation professors? Have any of you thought about incorporating Google Wave into a course to encourage students to collaborate on a large project? I’d like to hear what you think about how it could be used for translation.

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