mentoring program reloaded: share, learn and network! Reply

The mentoring program has been revived with the assistance of members of the Certified PRO Network. Translators in need of practical experience can meet established and experienced members of the Certified PRO Network and acquire experimental translation knowledge. In turn, Certified PROs have the chance to distinguish themselves as experts while possibly finding new partners for growing their translation teams.

If you are a member and are interested in participating in the Mentoring program, find more information here.

If you are a member of the Certified PRO Network and would like to volunteer as a mentor, post a “Mentor offer” in the Exchange section and contact site staff to have your name added to the list of active mentors.

What is your take on post-editing? 1

Post-editing seems to be a time-saver, a headache, a productivity-booster or an activity to be avoided at all cost, depending on who you talk to.

There is an interesting discussion that was recently started in the forums by member Michael J.W. Beijer on post-editing and how translators should approach this process. You can view this discussion and participate here.

The chances are good that demand for post-editing will continue to increase; is this good or bad for professional translators?

Have you done post-editing work recently? What are your thoughts? Can it be successfully leveraged to your advantage in your language pair(s) and field(s)?

Applying business skills to volunteer work: one volunteer/business owner’s perspective Reply

Thanks to Twitter, I came across a member’s blog and a very interesting blog post. Check out Esther van der Wal‘s  blog, IdentiTales, and her recent post, “My Two Cents: How Volunteering Changes Your Perspective of Business”. In it, Esther comments on her experience with a Translators Without Borders project and reflects on the roles of translation business owner and volunteer. Thanks Esther! Looking forward to future posts.

Announcing podcasts, and here’s the first edition 23

Good Friday, everyone! The April newsletter is on its way to your inbox, and I hope you find it interesting and informative.

I’d like to take this opportunity to announce a new feature at, the podcast. These podcasts are designed to provide an opportunity to hear the week’s news, highlights of site features, interviews with translators and others in the industry, and to have some fun. They are narrated by site staff member Romina. Have a listen to this first podcast and see what you think. If you have suggestions for items or sections you would like to hear in upcoming podcasts, feel free to post them here, or contact Romina directly at the email address romina at Enjoy! podcast, 2011-04-29

You can listen to the podcast above in your browser by clicking on the link. To download the podcast, right click on the link and choose the option to “Save link as”.

Take five! 1

Language professionals take breaks too (or, at least, they should!). This week the site opened an area called the Translator playground, for translators to have fun, to network, to learn, and to hone their translation or linguistic skills. The area consists of a collection of games, memes, quizzes, trivia, anecdotes, discussions, and other items of interest and, principally, fun!

The area is just getting started, but already some interesting and fun interactions are taking place. For example, this discussion on translating a comic.

When you take a break today, stop by the Translator playground and check it out. Everyone is welcome to participate and to add what they find fun and of interest.

Here’s some suggested take five music for your break, unless Jazz isn’t your thing:

Translator playground >>

New platform for outsourcing translation projects first made available to Translators Without Borders Reply

A new and improved platform has been made available by for jobs posted by Translators Without Borders, an independent, non-profit association that since 1993 has been providing free, professional translations to humanitarian NGOs, enabling them to spend the saved funds in their field operations.

This new platform displays Translators Without Borders’ look and feel and has several new features such as the possibility of uploading supporting material files when creating a new work order. These files are optionally provided to support the work; they do not need to be delivered or translated. Examples include glossaries, translation memories, dictionaries, templates, etc.

When a project is posted, this platform identifies the pool of translators who are enabled for the assignment, rank them in accordance with a predefined criterion and notify them in batches separated by fixed delays. Default values are batches of 5 translators separated by 15-minute delays, but both parameters are configurable.

These notifications include a link to a page dedicated to the job, with optional descriptions of the client, the project and the job, plus the file to be translated and any special instructions provided when posting the job. The translator can review the offered file and all the information and decide to accept it or not.

When one of the notified translators accepts the job, it immediately becomes unavailable to all other translators and no further notifications are sent out.

This interface includes a communications feature for the exchange of messages (with notifications) between the translator and the job poster, and also a feature to deliver the translated file once the job is completed.

New features will be added soon. They will for instance enable NGOs the direct posting of their projects in the platform and support the roles of project manager and editor.

In the near future this platform will be made available to translation outsourcers to offer a low-overhear workflow tool to process their translation jobs. If you outsource translation work and are interested in having access to this tool please contact staff by submitting a support request.

GoodPlanet’s webpage localized into 20 languages by Translators Without Borders volunteers!

As reported on March 28 the NGO GoodPlanet asked Translators Without Borders for help to localize their new website into as many languages as possible beyond English, French and Spanish (which were already available).

In that post it was reported the localization of that page into 13 languages: Italian, Slovak, Romanian, Polish, Hungarian, Turkish, Persian, Greek, Russian, German, Swedish, Arabic and Simplified Chinese.

Now 7 more languages have been delivered, taking the total to 20 languages and oven 180K translated words. These new languages and the corresponding credits are:

  • Slovenian: Vito Smolej joined Sabine Winter and Jana Novomeska in the rank of single translators who produced the localization of the whole website into their native languages.
  • Indonesian: the localization was done by a strong trio: Meidy Maringka, Jamina Yap and Trias Noverdi .
  • Portuguese: the localization was performed by five colleagues: Thais P., Fernanda RochaTais Faulkner , Thaiane Assumpção and Ana P Carvalho.
  • Dutch: The localization was performed by a team formed by Roel Verschueren, Iris ShalevEsther van der Wal , Marcel Palmen and one other translator who asked to remain anonymous.
  • Serbian: The job was done by Ivan Vatovic, Miomira Brankovic and Danijela Pejcic .
  • Croatian: The team that localized the web page into Croatian included Andreja Ciković, Martina Culin Jadranka Popović Tumpa, Iva Halbauer and the Crotext Team.
  • Japanese: The job was done by Yoshiko Bedillion and Michiko Kobayashi.
  • GoodPlanet has granted permission to all of the translators who participated in this project to use a part of the translations they performed as sample translations in their portfolios.

    In addition, translators who participate in any project handled by Translators Without Borders are kindly invited to enter the relevant projects in the project history section of their profiles and these projects will be validated by Translators Without Borders (send request to ).

    There is still room for translation into additional languages, and some additional volunteers would be more than welcome in several of the pairs where localization is still in progress. Source language is English or French.

    Any members of the Certified PRO Network who are willing to collaborate with Translations Without Borders in general, and with GoodPlanet in particular, are welcome to contact Translators Without Borders via their profile at

    For those interested in forming part of the Certified PRO Network, please visit

    Translation: “one of the weightiest and worthiest undertakings in the general concerns of the world” 8

    A variety of well-known figures have weighed in on the art of translation. Borges said, “El original no es fiel a la traducción”  (“The original is unfaithful to the translation”). “Translation is the art of failure,” according to Umberto Eco.  Ursula K. Le Guin has said, “Translation is entirely mysterious. Increasingly I have felt that the art of writing is itself translating, or more like translating than it is like anything else. What is the other text, the original? I have no answer. I suppose it is the source, the deep sea where ideas swim, and one catches them in nets of words and swings them shining into the boat … where in this metaphor they die and get canned and eaten in sandwiches.”

    Do any of these quotes represent what translation is to you? Do you have a favorite quote on translation that better sums up the profession?

    There is a Wiki article which is a collection of memorable quotes on or related to translation. Check it out here.  Add to it if you can.

    If you could sum up the art of translation, or the life of a translator, what original quote would you like to leave behind? Be creative!

    Add your original quote here >>