When PolarJournal launched in mid-July 2019, the plan was not only to present news and information to the German-speaking audience, but to expand ourselves linguistically over time. Driven by the frequently expressed wish of numerous members of the polar community and also somewhat by the pandemic-related focus on online media, we started with English barely 10 months later. Inspired by the success we have achieved with it over time, the logical consequence was now to expand linguistically. And proudly we can now announce: Bonjour PolarJournal en Français!
From now on, the articles on PolarJournal can be read in French in addition to German and English. The website has been extended accordingly and the language can now be conveniently changed to the desired language via a clearly marked language switcher. Not only the latest articles have already been translated into French, but all articles up to the beginning of December last year. In the coming months, the rest of the articles we have published since July 2019 should be translated and available to the French-speaking public. “I am hugely excited about the expansion and the fact that we, as a Swiss company, can now also provide news and articles from the Arctic and Antarctic to our French-speaking readers,” explains Dr. Michael Wenger, new head of the online platform. “In the coming weeks, we will also expand our free app for iPhone and Android devices to French and also offer the newsletter in the language of our western neighbors.”
Camille Lin and Mirjana Binggeli have joined the team for the linguistic implementation of the long-cherished expansion plans. Mirjana is responsible for the translations of the articles, both new and archived, and as a social scientist and polar guide in the Arctic and Antarctic, she not only brings linguistic expertise. The French-speaking Swiss convinced with her guest article about the problems concerning judicial issues in Nunavik and also immediately showed her willingness to support PolarJournal in the implementation of French until she will be back in the direction of the Arctic on exepdition ships. Marseille-based science journalist Camille Lin had also impressed PolarJournal director Dr. Michael Wenger with his work and skills from the start. “It was pure coincidence on both occasions, but at the right time, that Mirjana and Camille had contacted me. I knew right away that they were the people I was looking for,” says Michael Wenger.
In the future, Camille will write articles that will revolve around French activities in the Arctic and Antarctic. Because “La Grande Nation” is actually very active in the polar regions. The French polar research program alone includes three subantarctic and two antarctic stations plus the French research and supply icebreaker L’Astrolabe. Numerous research groups are also active in the Arctic in a wide variety of regions. Among others, the French polar research institute IPEV operates a station in Ny Ålesund on Svalbard together with the German AWI. Camille, who himself lived and worked as a junior scientist on the subantarctic station of the Kerguelen Islands, will receive support from APECS France, the French branch of the organization for junior scientists. With them, PolarJournal has signed a memorandum of understanding for mutual support in communicating polar research of French research groups and other projects. “It’s great to bring polar worlds and their affairs to a francophone audience with PolarJournal,” explains Camille Lin.
“To my knowledge, we are the first to offer such a platform in French.”Dr. Michael Wenger, Head of PolarJournal
The expansion to French is a logical consequence according to Michael Wenger, who officially took over the management of PolarJournal last year. “Not only the fact that we as a Swiss company want to offer more space to our second most spoken national language has contributed to the implementation. Also the fact that francophone countries are important parts of the global polar community and accordingly there is a great interest in what is going on in the Arctic and Antarctic, made us take this step. And at least to my knowledge, we are the first to offer such a platform in French.” And more projects are already planned that will benefit from the expansion. “After two years of cutting back, we want to step it up this year and show that we’re not just a news platform, but just as diverse as the polar regions that mean so much to us.”
Julia Hager, PolarJournal
Link to PolarJournal French website
Link to the APECS France website
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