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Falling into Place: action points from the Transitionese project

In which Deborah, Sara and Pedro celebrate International Translations Day, the 30th September, by announcing some of the practical outcomes of their work with languages and translations in the Transition Network.

As we work on collaborative, creative processes, what often seems to happen is that, rather than have a plan, we feel our way through, listen, interact, and then suddenly, somehow, things fall into place. And that is more or less how I felt this week as I cut-and-pasted material from the Italian hub into a mosaic of content, in view of the launch of the Transitionese website, scheduled for the last week of October (mark your calendars folks!).

Transitionese is a year-long journey of enquiry into languages, translations and linguistic diversity within Transition Network. Me and Sara and Pedro have introduced our ideas as we set off (here and sent some notes from the field as we sketched out our itinerary (here). And here we are in Autumn, as we near our deadlines and finally see the picture as it forms.

The collective dream we harvested for the Transitionese website included the creation of a mosaic of colourful, engaging content, opening many new doors to the story being co-written by groups, individuals and initiatives every day… and facilitating access to videos, documents, and how-to guides. It will have pages in different languages and showcase work done by team of translators across the globe. The last week of October the website will be online, and we will be hosting a webinar open to anyone interested in learning more about how it works and how to contribute, as well as to collect feedback and ideas for improvement.

Wine harvesting at Fafe, Portugal. Photo by Sara Moreira.jpg
Harvesting time! Fafe, Portugal. Photo by Sara Moreira.

Besides this more outward-facing project, we will also introduce some support tools for translators of content in the Transition network: style guides, factsheets with ideas and learnings from previous work, and a collaborative tool for larger projects which may benefit from a “crowd-translation” approach.

Since the beginning we’ve been populating a glossary with the words of Transitionese: if you have any favorites, tweet them (#transitionese), use the comment section, or drop us an email. Over in the UK, people have started using transition as an adjective, as in “That project is transition-y”. How would you translate that?

In these harvest days of Autumn, our team is busy assembling and organising material in many languages. Some are nice bright shiny translations just plucked from the tree. Some are windfall… forgotten bits of useful information, which perhaps had been buried under a lot of internet clutter. As I went through the collection process for my hub, Transition Italia, it felt very good to look at these documents one by one, read the names of the many people involved in bridging the language gap, and see it all come together, infine!

As a growing constellation of groups, hubs and initiatives, Transition aspires to be a learning organisation. Much of learning comes with feedback processes, stopping to think, reflect and collect. It’s a rewarding process in and of itself, to take stock of all that we’ve done, admire its shiny colours and, perhaps, start seeing where gaps are, what else could complete the picture.

Telling stories with a heart - Shadow Theatre at Monzuno ecovillage in Italy - photo by Antonio Graziano
Telling stories with a heart – Shadow Theatre at Monzuno ecovillage in Italy – photo by Antonio Graziano

Feel like helping out with our harvesting? Know of documents from the Transition world which have travelled far and wide? Drop us a note at

This post was originally published at Transition Network’s website.

Deborah Rim Moiso
Deborah is a Transition trainer and facilitator with Transition Italia, the Italian Hub of Transition Network. She is half-Italian half-American, trained as a translator and is in training as a beekeeper. She is one of the initial catalysts of Transitionese.

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