Jay Cross helps people work and live smarter. Jay is the Johnny Appleseed of informal learning. He wrote the book on it. He was the first person to use the term eLearning on the web. He has challenged conventional wisdom about how adults learn since designing the first business degree program offered by the University of Phoenix.

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Google Translate

posted on
November 8th, 2011
Just Jay

This article recently appeared in a newspaper in Rio:

I stuffed the text into Google Translate and pressed the button. Then I cleaned up obvious misreads and goofs. The result is readable but is a Frankenstein’s monster; the pieces don’t quite fit together:

Work = Improvisational theater
Interview with Jay Cross

● Workshops are considered a great opportunity to train teams. But the American Jay Cross, researcher and executive of Internet Time Alliance, tells companies that such activity is directed only to those just beginning their careers. People who are no longer freshmen, he argues, should invest their time in eLearning and informal learning in social networks.

GLOBO: Workshops are just for freshmen?

JAY CROSS: In earlier times, people were paid to follow instructions. We thought we could train them to do their work. But work now is more like improvisational theater. Workers have to face unexpected situations. They have no time for training because they must solve problems in the moment.

● Thinking about how came to eLearning?

CROSS: eLearning is the marriage of learning and networks. I did not invent the term. Rather, I was probably the first person to use it on the web. It originated when the Web became popular. ELearning has has potential to scale with no incremental cost and is available 24 hours throughout the week.

 ● The learning that allows for social networking …

CROSS: Networks allow people to discuss what they are learning, ask questions and resolve problems together.

● As the informal knowledge could develop business?

CROSS: Informal learning is the main form of learning at work. The worker learns with much more experience than workshops. Formal learning is ideal for beginners. Courses and workshops are great for anyone who lacks structure and knowledge in a subject. That’s what’s behind the “paradox of informal learning”: the fact companies invest heavily in formal learning while workers learn mainly through informal means, or that is, social networks. Corporate training is for beginners.

● Brasil has potential for this?

CROSS: Learning is social. And social networks are vital to the achievement of informal learning today. Brazilians are naturally social, and that’s an advantage. The Brasil is certainly well positioned for learning.

Translation is an amazing application. Thirty years ago, computer scientists said machine translation would never me this good. (And Google translates more than 60 languages back and forth!)

On the other hand, we’ve got a ways to go. On occasion, the software produces gibberish. A recent auto-translation I received of Dutch into English contained so many misinterpretations that it distorted the meaning of what was written.


  • Cheap flights - November 10, 2011 at 11:24 am -

    Google translate can be used to understand things at times but we cannot rely on it for grammatical correct translations of all languages. 

  • Yh2100 - November 12, 2011 at 4:54 am -

    I have been seeing Elearning more often now.  It is beneficial because anyone can take a training or a required course at any given time or day.  I am an adult education teacher and Elearning is used for the employees to stay abreast new areas of adult ed.  We also use it to earn our required hours for employment.

  • belma - November 26, 2011 at 5:41 am -

    mozes da mi posaljes  na sims 3 560  onih plavih

  • Fn Faizee - December 1, 2011 at 10:50 pm -

    The big problem that we have this translation in our own language (Pashto language) please add it to Google translation.

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