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

Thanks to Twitter, I came across a ProZ.com 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.

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

A new and improved platform has been made available by ProZ.com 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 ProZ.com 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 ProZ.com profiles and these projects will be validated by Translators Without Borders (send request to http://www.proz.com/profile/1352791 ).

    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 ProZ.com profile at http://www.proz.com/profile/1352791

    For those interested in forming part of the Certified PRO Network, please visit http://www.proz.com/cpn

    Some highlights in translation for March 1

    I hope everyone had a good March. Here are some highlights and stories of interest in the translation industry for this past month as it comes to a close:

    • Efforts to provide assistance to those affected by the disaster in Japan:
      1. The Japan Association of Translators (JAT) assembled a list of volunteer interpreters to help in the aftermath of the disaster.
      2. The Japanese Association of Medical Interpreters (JAMI) set up a call center to help out in the disaster.
      3. The International Medical Interpreter Association (IMIA) has built a Disaster Relief Database. This international effort lists interpreters in many different language combinations and sends the information periodically to 20 non-profits around the world, including the Japanese Red Cross.
      4. Translators without Borders announced that it is ready to assist with requests for translation related to the disaster from humanitarian non-governmental organizations (NGOs).

    Read more >>

    • Job flow on the site, which has been trending upward, hit an all-time high during March.
    • Translators Without Borders and the ProZian community are working together in large humanitarian localization project.  Read more >>
    • The European Patent Office and Google followed up on their announcement of intent to collaborate by signing a long-term agreement to collaborate on machine translation of patents.  Read more >>
    • Euan Fry, who helped bring world-class translations of the Bible to the indigenous peoples of Australia and Papua New Guinea passed away on March 1st.  Read more >>
    • Translation industry ‘founding father’ Geoffrey Kingscott passed away on March 2nd.   Read more >>
    • The results of GALA’s quarterly economic survey were published for the first quarter of 2011. GALA also announced the launch of a full-time, funded initiative to define localization standards. The GALA 2011 conference wrapped up yesterday in Lisbon.
    • The TAUS Data Association (TDA) opened the free “Corpora-for-MT” service to the public, and TAUS/CNGL machine translation post-editing guidelines were published.
    • Check out an interesting post by Kirti Vashee of eMpTy Pages on “The future of Translation Memory (TM)”.
    • The Prosperous Translator: Advice from Fire Ant & Worker Bee is now available through the ProZ.com Books section, along with a selection of other works by ProZ.com members which are of interest to translators.

    Thanks also to Véronica Coquard of Vers d’autres horizons… for this month’s guest blog post, “Don’t lower your rates! There are better ways of getting noticed”.

    See the ProZ.com newsletter for March for more news.

    Stay on top of what is happening in the industry by following Translation industry news.

    Have a great month of April!

    Jared

    Translators Without Borders and the ProZian community work together in large humanitarian localization project 3

    Translators Without Borders is 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.

    ProZ.com has been supporting Translators Without Borders both in the screening of their volunteer translators via the ProZ.com screening center and in the posting of translation jobs, but even more important is the contribution of ProZ.com’s community of translators.

    Since there is no time for reviewing and no room for errors in the handling of emergencies, Translators Without Borders recruits only experienced and solid professionals able to do a good job each time. Approved applicants are asked to submit one or more test translations within the system.

    Since the screening requirements for the Certified PRO Network are similar, members of the CPN are admitted directly as Translators Without Borders translators.

    The level of activity has been increasing steadily. Some 40,000 words were posted in January. This number rose to 88,000 words during February and over 235,000 words were posted and accepted by volunteers during the first 24 days of March.

    Update on the GoodPlanet project

    In the second half of February, 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).

    Since then, more than a hundred members of the Certified PRO Network have responded to the call for volunteers, and the localization has been already delivered to the NGO (but not yet released) in eight languages:

    Another four languages are close to completion: Arabic, Russian, German and Swedish.

    Other groups making progress include Portuguese, Dutch, Indonesian and Chinese, as well as Japanese, Serbian, Macedonian, Hebrew, Croatian, Slovenian, Malayalam, Hindi, Tamil and Latvian, where in most cases a single volunteer is working per language.

    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 ProZ.com profiles and these projects will be validated by Translators Without Borders (send request to http://www.proz.com/profile/1352791 ).

    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 ProZ.com profile at http://www.proz.com/profile/1352791

    For those interested in forming part of the Certified PRO Network, please visit http://www.proz.com/cpn

    ——————————————–

    Update, March 30th:

    Today the localizations into Russian and German were completed and delivered to GoodPlanet, taking the total of completed languages to 10.

    Credit goes to:
    * Russian: Natalia Mackevich, Mykhailo Voloshko, Yana Deni, Anna Konar, Valery Kaminski and a translator who asked to remain anonymous.

    * German: Sabine Winter who, like Jana Novomeska in Slovak, produced the localization of the whole website into her native language.

    ——————————————–

    Update, April 1st:

    Today the localizations into Swedish was completed and delivered to GoodPlanet, taking the total of completed languages to 11 and the total of translated words beyond 100K.

    Credit goes to Anna Smith, Christer Heljestrand, Johanna Hongell-Darsee, Victoria Eriksson, and Maria Grahm,

    ——————————————–

    Update, April 5th:

    Today the localizations into Arabic and Simplified Chinese were completed and delivered to GoodPlanet, taking the total of completed languages to 13.

    Credit goes to:
    * Arabic: Said Abouharia, Mohamed Gaafar and Heba Shawky.

    * Chinese: David Zhang , Yun Lin and Susan Wang.

    ——————————————–

    Translators Without Borders recruits ProZ.com Certified PRO members for ambitious localization program 3

    For those not already familiar with it, Translators Without Borders is an independent non-profit association established in 1993, dedicated to helping NGOs extend their humanitarian work by providing free, professional translations.

    The funds saved through the use of volunteer translations can then be used by the NGOs in the field, enabling them to extend the scope and reach of their humanitarian work. Some of the supported NGOs include Médecins Sans Frontières, Zafèn, Médecins du Monde, Acting for Life, Aide et Action, the Association ASMAE, ATD Fourth World, ATD Fourth World and GoodPlanet.

    The core of Translators Without Borders are the about 300 volunteer translators who donate their time, efforts and knowledge to help make the world a better place, together with doctors, nurses and other volunteers working in NGO and humanitarian associations.

    Since translations related to humanitarian emergencies leave no time for review (and even less room for error), Translators Without Borders looks exclusively for experienced and solid translators able to do produce strong, professional translations.

    Translators willing to volunteer with Translators Without Borders can complete an application and if the application is approved they are required to perform at least a translation test as part of the screening process.

    The job interface

    ProZ.com has been supporting Translators Without Borders both in the screening of their volunteer translators via the ProZ.com screening center and in the posting of translation jobs.

    The current Translators Without Borders jobs interface is extremely efficient. When a job is posted, the system will identify the pool of translators who are approved for the assignment (approved into the system and with the proper language pair and, eventually, field of expertise).

    This pool will then be sorted. In the case of Translators Without Borders this sorting is random in nature, because the idea is to balance the load among the volunteers, but in a commercial application other criteria would be followed, according to the preferences of the company acting as platform manager.

    The system will then proceed to notify the translators in batches separated by fixed delays. In the case of Translators Without Borders, these are batches of 5 translators each, and there is a 15 minute delay between a batch of notifications and the next but both of these numbers can be controlled.

    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.

    A case study: localization of GoodPlanet’s web page

    On February 17th, Translators Without Borders was contacted by the NGO GoodPlanet, who requested help in translating their new website into as many languages as possible beyond English, French and Spanish (which were already available).

    Since the languages where Translators Without Borders is stronger were not required, a decision was made to contact members of ProZ.com’s Certified PRO Network and to ask them for help, offering to add any volunteer directly to the list of approved Translators Without Borders translators (the Certified PRO Network has a screening process similar to that used by Translators Without Borders).

    The results were amazing; 38 translators volunteered and the GoodPlanet website is currently being localized into the following 15 languages: Italian, Portuguese, Arabic, German, Dutch, Romanian, Russian, Indonesian, Polish, Swedish, Turkish, Hungarian, Greek, Slovak and Japanese.

    There is room for translation into additional languages. Any Certified PRO members 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 ProZ.com profile at http://www.proz.com/profile/1352791

    January in translation Reply

    January is coming to a close already. The ProZ.com newsletter for this month is on its way out, and if you have not received it already you should be getting it shortly.

    Some highlights worth mentioning from this newsletter:

    By the way, you can view the full archive of ProZ.com newsletters at http://www.proz.com/newsletter/

    The first month of this year also brought some interesting industry news. Here are some highlights of translation-related news for January:

    You can follow these and other translation industry stories through the Translation news service.

    Have I forgotten something? Let me know!

    Jared