What is the Multilingual Go Book Project

As the name implies, the goal of the project is to have a Go book that will be translated to as many languages as possible, in order to promote and spread Go in countries that do not have a Go tradition and the native language is not English.

The project came to be due to the difficulties of promoting Go in my home country, Greece. We didn’t have educational material in our language and there were young people and adults that wanted to learn the game, but could not read English. This meant that the vast majority of educational material (e.g books, wikis, youtube lectures) were out of their reach and we had try and teach each person individually. Not only was such a thing counter-productive, but it was also tiring for the people that wanted to learn the game, since they had nothing to take home with them and study and have some fun. The promotion of Go was on the level of “word of mouth” all because of a linguistic barrier, so I realised that we needed educational material. We needed something that students could read, something that we could give to people that had never heard of the game. We needed a book in our language.

But Europe is a vast continent with many countries and languages, so maybe other countries have a similar problem with Greece. I realised that possibility by participating in the European Go Championship and noticing that some countries around our division and our region didn’t have too many young players in them either. So, maybe they need a book in their language as well. Something that could circulate in libraries, schools, universities and game shops. Places where young people with a passion for board games might be found. So, why should we stop at only in English and Greek? We should make the book in more languages and have it be free for everyone.

The ultimate goals of the project are two:
Produce more translations of the book, with the help of of other native Go players
Eventually have the funds to print some physical copies and give them to the Go associations of each country, so they can distribute them as they see fit.

What has been done already?
Personally I dislike projects that come with many promises and a lot of “trust us, we will do this and that, eventually”. I am a person of actions and I wanted to announce the project when it had something tangible and useful for the playerbase of Go. I didn’t want lofty goals and promises that sounded empty. I wanted to prove first that a book can be created and that it can be translated in at least one non-English language and then open the idea to the world. So, what does this project have to offer to you?

Two books of 192 pages of content, each. One book is in English. One book is in Greek.
Each book contains more than 700 diagrams that are explained in as much detail as possible.
The books have as a target group people that:
a) have never heard of the game (so it contains the basic rules) and
b) DDK players that want to rise to SDK (so it also contains more advanced material, beyond the basic rules)

(February 2021 Update)

As you can see underneath, a lot of things have happened. The amount of completed books has doubled, with the addition of French and Spanish, and a lot of other languages are a work in progress. Also, those of you who follow the project over on social media already know that the second goal of the project has managed to print 25 tangible books in English and 25 copies of the book in Greek. The Greek copies have already been sent to the Greek Go Association to be used for lessons and promotions that had been planned (but are now on pause due to the Covid situation), while the English books are available to anyone that would like a copy, for free. Just contact me and I will send you one.

So, everything is going quite well. If you add the timeframe those things were accomplished in, things are “beyond expectations” I should say and I want to help everyone that helped and contributed even in the smallest way to the project.

(end of February 2021 update)

At this point possibly a presentation of the contents would have been in line, but the books are free, you can scroll down and download them and see the whole thing for yourself. There is no pay-wall, everything is free.

But why is there an English book? Isn’t this a project for other languages?
For multiple reasons. First of all, when I started making the book, most of the terminology had to be translated as well, so I was already thinking about the book in English while translating it to Greek and that was hard to do. So, I thought that I should do the creative part (content and diagrams) in English and then translate it to Greek (you can see the timeline for more details). This way English speakers could have their own free book that they can download or send to their friends and we could have tangible proof that the translation is feasable. A win-win situation.

Enough with the wall of text! I want the books.
I agree, I talk too much, but one last important thing before that:

What can I do to help?

I am glad you asked.
As you can see, there has been a lot of work already done. Most of it was the diagrams and the original book. If you visit the “project members” page you will see that this has been practically a one-man project so far. The same person toiled for 18 months and wrote the book, made the diagrams, the typesetting, this website, the ISBN paperwork and, of course, paid the bills. But he doesn’t know any other languages!

This means that the first way to help is to get together with your Go association and help translate the book in your language.
The second way to help is by sending feedback and corrections on this book. Any mistake you find, however small, would be nice to be reported and corrected. Proofreaders will be added to the contributors and translators will be added to the project members.
The third way of helping is, of course, by donating (also added to the contributors).

We are free
from editors and publishing companies. No one has any stake for this project to make a profit and this website will keep going even if no one chooses to help in either of these three ways. Thank you for hearing me out and for your time and patience. Now, to the books!

Download the books

The English book is provided in three editions: coloured, grayscale and compressed grayscale (color versions are around 250mb in size, Greyscale versions are around 90mb and the compressed versions are between 24 and 30mb). You can download them all for free from the following links:

Follow the project in it’s facebook page to stay up to date with the latest news and updates on the books.
Corrections and re-uploads will be made two or three times per month, depending on the amount of received feedback.