"Getting usable tape from a three-person, two-language conversation can be a culturally, linguistically, emotionally, and ergonomically complicated business," says Jonathan Miller.

Jonathan Miller interviews marathoner Selena Kosgei and her mother in western Kenya. “Getting usable tape from a three-person, two-language conversation can be a culturally, linguistically, emotionally, and ergonomically complicated business,” he writes on Transom.org.

More than 1 billion people in the world speak English. You could interview one of them every day for 30,000 years and still not exhaust your supply. So why worry about translating foreign-language voices for the radio?

Homelands’ Jonathan Miller tackles this and other thorny questions in the latest “Thoughts on Translation” column on the public radio website Transom.org. Previous contributors were independent producer Ann Heppermann and NPR East Africa correspondent (and honorary Homelander) Gregory Warner.

The good folks at Transom.org asked me to contribute a “manifesto” on the art of producing a feature series for public radio. The piece went live yesterday. It’s meant to provide a general idea of what’s involved in putting together a project like the ones Homelands has been producing for the last 20 years. Transom.org calls itself “a showcase and workshop for new public radio.” You can find everything from microphone advice to tips from the best audio storytellers. It’s a great resource for newcomers, and for oldsters who want to test new waters.

Jon