I am happy to present the Translator T.O.’s first guest blogger post, this week by member Niraja Nanjundan, on the subject of the translation industry wiki. Niraja has been a regular contributor to the ProZ.com Wiki, and it is nice to have her here to explain how she sees the concept of a translation industry wiki:
The value and importance of a translation industry wiki, by Niraja Nanjundan
In an interview with the BBC, on the occasion of the tenth anniversary of Wikipedia in January of this year, Jimmy Wales, founder of the well-known online encyclopaedia described it as a “temple of the mind,” a place of learning, discussion and debate. Seen from that perspective, the launch of ProZ.com’s translation industry wiki is significant, as it represents the start of an online encyclopaedia or knowledge base aimed specifically at the translation industry. The ProZ.com Wiki will be a collaborative effort of translators and language professionals covering all aspects of the profession from the technical aspects of translation and interpreting to the business side of the industry.
Officially launched last year, the wiki is divided up into several sections, including the art and craft of translation and interpreting, money matters and business issues and ProZ.com members have already been adding valuable contributions. The forum threads attached to each wiki article have proven to be very popular areas for discussion and debate, such as this discussion on the Translator Career Path. That said, more involvement from users and members will be required for the wiki to really take off as a viable resource for the translation industry. What then are the benefits of this type of specialised wiki and in what ways does it differ from an article knowledge base or a translation blog?
- A wiki contribution is not a one-time effort by one author. It is a collaborative effort with contributions from as many different people who are interested in contributing, and is continuously growing. This means that it can be updated as things change and develop in a particular area or field.
- As already mentioned, a wiki article can encourage discussion and debate. The fact that anyone can edit and change the content means that if one person disagrees with another person’s contribution, he/she can easily change it, which can give rise to a discussion on the issue. The forum attached to each wiki article on ProZ.com encourages this type of interaction even more.
- A wiki can also be a platform for raising awareness on issues and creating transparency. The ProZ.com Wiki has a section on Detecting and reacting to false job offers and other scams, for example, an issue that is very important to many of us who increasingly use the internet for our work, and that has been of concern to many colleagues.
- A translation industry wiki can also be an important and valuable resource for students and those starting out in the profession, as it can include articles and tips on what the profession involves, how to get started, rates and other issues a novice translator may have questions about. ProZ.com’s wiki already has contributions on Establishing yourself as a freelance translator, “Marketing for translators” and Determining your rates and fees as a translator.
Although wiki articles do not give their contributors as much online exposure as a KudoZ answer or a forum posting may, they still provide an opportunity to hone one’s writing skills and share knowledge about topics that may be of interest to colleagues and of value to the translation industry as whole. And as with KudoZ and the forums, the wiki and its dedicated forums also offer a platform for networking, debating pertinent issues and raising awareness.
Thanks to Niraja for the insightful contribution! The ProZ.com Wiki can be found under the Education menu tab on any ProZ.com page, or at this direct link: http://wiki.proz.com/wiki/index.php