Reza Ebrahimi is a Medical Engineer and English-Persian ProZ.com certified PRO freelance translator.
Reza is active in the Translators without Borders’ Wikipedia and FairStart projects. Having contributed as translator, language lead and editor to 32 jobs, with 43,891 words delivered, Reza is our translator of the week.
Tejinder Soodan is a ProZ.com Certified PRO member and a dedicated volunteer at Translators without Borders who has just delivered the first health care article in the Wikipedia project into his native Panjabi. This article on Anaphylaxis will be very soon integrated into the Panjabi version of Wikipedia.
Ashutosh Mitra is our translation hero, who has contributed more than half of the words donated in the English to Hindi pair within Translators without Border.
When I praised for this, he replied:
"I am just working for a cause, for my mother tongue and for my pleasure.
I do it because I love to do it… Thanks to you and all my friends at TWB.”
Thank you for your work, Ashutosh!
DANBURY, CT USA- 7th March 2013 - Indigo Trust is a grant making foundation that funds technology-driven projects to bring about social change, largely in African countries. Translators without Borders (TWB) has been awarded a grant of $14,500 by Indigo towards the costs of the medical translation project for Wikipedia - the 80 x 100 Project. The grant will help train and fund translators at the TWB Translator Centre in Kenya to translate healthcare articles into Swahili.
"The aim of the 80 x 100 Project is to make the most popular Wikipedia medical articles, on issues like HIV and polio, available in as many languages as possible,” said TWB Program Director, Rebecca Petras. “Existing English language medical content is constantly proofed and improved by Wikipedia’s medical team. The content is translated into multiple languages, mainly by TWB’s vast community of volunteer translators.”
The Indigo Trust is backing the translation of articles into Swahili, by supporting the TWB Translator Training Centre in Nairobi, Kenya.
Matthew O’Reilly, Program Manager at The Indigo Trust, based in London, said, “The job of translating the English Wikipedia content into Swahili will be done by the translators at the new TWB Centre in Nairobi. 10 translators and 2 editors will work on the Wikipedia translations, using the Centre’s computing facilities and memory translation software. Not only does this make life-saving medical information more understandable, but it also improves the employability of the trainee translators. The finished translations will be proofed and uploaded onto the Swahili version of Wikipedia, which currently has approximately 25,000 articles. Once on Wikipedia, the content will then be marketed to NGOs, community health workers and others. This will help African communities have more access to knowledge and information, in a language they understand, that could save lives.”
Check out the Indigo Trust Blog here: http://indigotrust.wordpress.com/2013/02/18/the-importance-of-translation/
This is our group of trained healthcare translators in Kenya in February. (Our training program leader, Simon Andriesen, is so tall he’s jutting out of the photo!). This group of Translators without Borders translators are translating important health information for the betterment of so many Swahili speakers.
Illiteracy is a huge problem in development, but even where people are literate there’s no guarantee that they are literate in English. The 54 states of Africa are home to more than 2,000 languages split across six major language families. Despite this, development agencies, NGOs and governments frequently lack the resources or skills to be able to translate development material into languages other than English, French and maybe Arabic. At the same time, the internet has given rise to a huge expansion in the amount of information available to citizens, professionals and others. Consider Wikipedia with its millions of articles on everything from Benin to Big Brother and the Preemraff Lysekil oil refinery to Pseudo-Kufic (thanks to Wikipedia’s Random Page function). Indeed, with its global reach and its Zero agreements (which give free access to Wikipedia content to tens of millions across Africa and the Middle East), Wikipedia offers a fantastic platform to get locally-relevant content into the hands of people who need it most.
For all of the above, we’re delighted to have awarded Translators Without Borders (TWB) a grant of $14,500 towards the costs of their 80 x 100 Project. The aim of the project is to make the most popular Wikipedia medical articles (on issues like HIV and polio) available in as many languages as possible. First, existing English language medical content is proofed and improved by Wikipedia’s medical team. Then, after publication in a peer-review journal, the content is translated into simplified English. At the same time, this content will be translated into multiple languages mainly by TWB’s vast community of volunteer translators. Some languages, however, cannot sustain a volunteer community of translators. And that’s how Indigo became involved. TWB has recently opened a translator training centre in Nairobi and the job of translating this English content into Swahili will be done by the translators at the centre. 12 translators will work on the translations, while simultaneously gaining access to computing facilities, memory translation software and other resources and skills that will improve their employability. The finished translations are then proofed and uploaded onto the Swahili version of Wikipedia, which currently has approximately 25,000 articles. Once on Wikipedia, the content will then be marketed to NGOs, community health workers and others.
As a former translator, it’s always exciting to hear about a project of this kind. And hopefully, by combining the reach of Wikipedia with the expertise of Kenyan translators the project will put valuable content into the hands of those who need it most. I’ll look forward to monitoring the project over the coming months, but we’d all like to wish the translators in Nairobi the very best of luck. Of course, I really should have written this is Swahili…
Translators without Borders (TWB) frequently announces donations received from various companies, but what about the huge amount of help that we get from dedicated individuals who do incredible things to raise money through their creativity and hard work? What can you do as an individual to raise money and support us, and what could that amount achieve? This part of the newsletter provides a space for our innovative fundraisers to showcase their fundraising projects, and highlights the ways in which other people can get involved in creative and fun ways to raise money to really make a difference.
One of the main ways that individuals can support us is by raising money for the Fund-a-Translator program, whereby $1,000 will provide a translator’s training, equipment and Internet connection for a period of one year. This single translator’s work may then help save hundreds of lives.
Supporters from Text Partner in Poland did just that. Marek Gawrysiak and Lucjan Szreter cycled 440 kilometers in four days, from their branch office in Katowice, Poland, to the ELIA conference in Budapest to raise money to fund the training of two Kenyan translators. The ways in which the public could help support the bike ride were either through sponsoring as many kilometers as possible, or by spreading the word about the charity.
A total of 92 humanitarian organizations requested our services during the last 12 months.
At the top of the list is the Wikipedia project, launched this year with the Wikimedia Foundation to translate 80 critical medical Wikipedia articles into as many languages as possible. The project is currently active into 35 languages and in a first step we aim for 80 languages.
Next in line come Acción contra el Hambre from Spain and Action contre la Faim, two branches of the same humanitarian NGO dedicated to fighting hunger. Then comes Médecins Sans Frontières from Switzerland. MSF was Translators without Borders first humanitarian client and in the last 12 months we also received translations requests from their offices based in the Netherlands, Belgium, Spain, the UK, United Arab Emirates, France, Canada, Japan and Norway.
Volunteer translators form the very core of Translators without Borders. They donate their time, efforts and expertise to help doctors, nurses and other volunteers working in humanitarian organizations to make the world a better place.
Since translations related to humanitarian emergencies leave no time for reviews or mistakes, there is a strict procedure in place to ensure that all members of our team are experienced and solid translators, able to do it right the first time. Applications from potential volunteers are reviewed and, if approved, a sample translation is requested and then evaluated by at least two editors before a new translator is welcomed onto the team.
There is a second way, called the fast track, opened back in early 2011 when Translators without Borders was contacted by the organization GoodPlanet with the request of translating their new website into as many languages as possible. Since at that time the pool of volunteers was concentrated in the pairs of English to and from French, a decision was made to contact members of ProZ.com’s Certified PRO Network.
With over 3,400 members, the ProZ.com Certified PRO Network is an initiative of the ProZ.com community to provide qualified translators and translation companies with an opportunity to network and collaborate in an environment consisting entirely of screened professionals.
To enter the Certified PRO Network, ProZ.com members must complete an online application and submit it for review to prove they meet or exceed minimum professional standards based on the EN15038 standard for quality in translation and in three screening areas: translation ability, business reliability and online citizenship.
Since the screening of translation ability is essentially the same in both programs (and in both cases done on a platform powered by ProZ.com), a fast track was created whereby any translator who is part of the ProZ.com Certified PRO Network is automatically accepted as a Translator without Borders without the need of any further testing.
The fast track proved very powerful, and currently some 40% of the professionals approved by Translators without Borders were accepted because of their ProZ.com Certified PRO Network status.
The experience led to the decision to extend this approach to other industry certifications that involve active testing of translation abilities. In particular, the fast track benefits are also available to all ATA-certified translators—an opportunity that we would like to advertise better. We are working on identifying similar certification programs and announcing those fast track opportunities to potential volunteers.
There is good room for growth here. Feedback and advice will be very welcome.
Author: Enrique Cavalitto
For our last issue of this year, we interviewed Rocio Haskell, a Paris lover and a yoga teacher, who has a varied professional background, and is in charge of coordinating non-translator volunteers for Translators without Borders (TWB). Rocio has helped to bring some structure and centralize information about volunteers, so as to meet Translators without Borders’ current needs with the right volunteers for the tasks ahead.
I am dedicated to many diverse activities; I have never planned anything, but things just sorted themselves out! I studied Management at Northwestern University, and later my experience in different jobs has taken me to many places all in the world, including almost every country in Latin America. I have been living in Geneva for a year now since my husband took a position here.
My main role involves coordinating non-translator volunteers. I met Rebecca and Lori in Paris, and told them I had signed up for volunteering 6 months earlier, and no one had contacted me! So I told them, “You need somebody to coordinate the rest of the tasks, such as social media, the website…” There was nobody looking for help with non-translation tasks like accounting. Now, we have added some pages to the website, and we recruit people who are not translators as well since we also need other types of volunteers. Basically, I deal with issues that do not have direct relation with translation itself, but with screening translators, reframing the processes, putting in place the structure, the network, and the organizational framework. I also address questions such as, “What are our needs? Do we have the right people with the right skills to fulfill those needs?”
Tickets are $10 (all of which goes to TWB directly), it’s hosted by PayPal, and there will be presentations by Lori Thicke and KIVA!
(San Francisco), 7 – 8 February
(Arusha, Tanzania), 20 – 22 February
(Miami), 17 – 20 March
(London), 12 – 14 June
(Hong Kong), 7 – 11 August
Dear Lindsay This translation is perfect! We truly appreciate your professional assistance in understanding the context in which our Italian office is operating.