[hackerspaces] Translating word 'hackerspace' to other languages?

Jaap Vermaas jaap at tuxic.nl
Sat Aug 28 23:06:26 CEST 2010

On 08/28/2010 01:32 PM, Jarkko Moilanen wrote:
> Hi,
> The following might sound childish, but respecting own language (as well
> as other languages) is fundamental to some of us, at least for me.
> I was wondering how people from non-English speaking countries have
> translated the word 'hackerspace'? The issue has been around among
> Finnish hackers for several months and we can't seem to find a solution
> to this. We need to talk about hackerspaces is Finnish to non-hackers
> and alike and a good word is definitely needed. Some Finnish hackers use
> term 'hacklab' but it is not Finnish. Everyone knows that direct
> translation hardly ever works.
> How to translate hackerspace to single and similar striking word in
> other languages? Of course we can use longer term or give an
> explanation, which we do, but that is not ideal. I bet others have found
> solutions to this situation. Could you give us some light or direction
> how to solve this issue? Or is it just a question of time; a suitable
> word will just pop up?
In the old days, we used the term "internet werkplaats" in Dutch, where
the word "werkplaats", should probably be translated as something in
between "garage" and "workspace".

But then again, this was 1999, hackerspaces did not exist as such, we
didn't have any arduinos to play with and we were oh-so proud to have a
flatrate cable internet connection and give away access for free... I
guess the focus on internet is not so relevant any more :-)

Still, a "hackerspace" sounds to me like a room in which you can store
hackers, not like a space where people actually get their hands dirty on
hard- or software. Maybe we should improve the english term before
finding a good translation.

> Oh! and sorry if I wasted your time (and inbox space) with this
> ridiculous non-technical question ;)
No problem. Some of my best friends are linguists.



> cheers,
> Jarkko
> ****************************
>  Jarkko Moilanen (phone: +358 46 640 8339)
>  M.Soc.Sc. (Political Science)
>  PhD Student, Information studies, University of Tampere
>  Blog: Extreme activities in cyberspace - http://extreme.ajatukseni.net/
>  -------------------------
>  Founder of Hackerspace 5w, Finland, Tampere - 5w.fi
> ****************************
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