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.
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
If case you did not know, now we have the Wiki page at http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Translators_Without_Borders
Translators without Borders volunteers have donated over 7 million words of translation to charity. What a remarkable achievement! Congratulations and thanks to our volunteers for their time and dedication!
Translation vendor, TextPartner has raised $2,000 for Translator’s without Borders (TWB) Fund-a-Translator Program. TextPartner is the first organization to raise money for this exciting new TWB program.
The team at TextPartner cycled a total of 440kms from their branch office inKatowice,Polandto the recent ELIA conference inBudapest.
“The journey took 4 days, through some of the most beautiful scenery inEurope.” Said Marek Gawrysiak, Cyclist and Operations Manager at TextPartner. “Through people sponsoring us, we raised $2,000 for TWB’s Fund-a-Translator Program. This is enough to sponsor two Kenyan Trainee translators. As well as raising money, we had a great time and hope to repeat this next year.”
TWB’s Fund-a-Translator Program is part of theTWBHealthcareTrainingCenterinNairobi,Kenya. The Program invests funds and resources in local professionals to train as translators, building local language and translation skill.
“This bike ride was an awesome effort!” saidLori Thicke, President and co-founder of TWB, “The team at TextPartner did a great job and we now have the funds to start training 2 translators at the TWB center inNairobi. To train local translators, we need to maintain a physical location, hire local instructors and manage technology and Internet access for the trainees. This all needs funds and TextPartner has really kick-started the effort.”
Moravia, a Gold Sponsor of Translators without Borders, is inviting everybody to play a game for the holidays, and they will donate $1 to TWB for everyone who plays it.
Please spread the word!
A guest blog from Rebecca Petras
The office of the United Nations in Kenya is focused on healthcare issues in East Africa. A tweet this week from the Twitter handle of the office’s director, Aeneas C. Chuma, lamented ongoing health issues among mothers in Kenya: “Maternal health has not improved in Kenya over the last decades. Time to leverage the private sector for results on MDG5 (Millennium Development Goal 5, Maternal Health)!”
Meanwhile, CNN is discussing another lingering issue in Kenya and East Africa: childhood stunting. More than 2 million children in Kenya alone suffer from stunting; 180 million worldwide. A recent episode of Christine Amapour’s show on the network featured the head of UNICEF, Anthony Lake, who explained that the problem can easily be dealt with better nutrition and education.
These are just two recent examples of major non-governmental organizations talking about the stubborn problems of East Africa that continue to hold the region back despite strong growth outlooks. While journalists like to talk about the African Century and the incredible economic opportunities on the continent, we are still hearing about health issues that need to be fixed for that growth to reach its true potential. And, most frustratingly, these are issues that can be fixed with simple communication of critical information.
Sometimes I get really discouraged about all the stuff that’s wrong with the human race… the arguing, the senseless violence, the control-freak posturing and the corruption in every direction. Why don’t people see how stupid all of that is? Why don’t they listen more, put themselves in the shoes of their fellow human beings, try to do better?
Well, the thing is, they do. For every act of senseless violence, there is an act of selfless love. You know, the mom who gets up to take care of her crying baby — not because she has to, but because she wants to. The man who stops to change a stranger’s tire. The couple who offers hospitality to a foreigner. Naturally, the larger and more public any of these acts get, the more likely it is that corruption will find them, too; that they will be done for show rather than for mercy. And perhaps it’s impossible to really and truly do anything selfless. As they say, virtue is its own reward, and that great feeling you get when you’ve done something good is a measurable emotional return on investment.
In this issue we introduce two of our translator trainees from our new Healthcare Translators’ Training Center in Nairobi, Kenya. Our hard-working team in Kenya, led by Paul Warambo and Simon Andriesen, is translating vital health information and subtitling videos while also learning how to become professional translators. This is an important step in building a professional translation network in Swahili and beyond. If you would like to help support the effort to increase language capacity into Swahili and other critical languages, please consider sponsoring a translator this holiday season through our Fund-a-Translator program. Details by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.
For this second issue of our newsletter, we have interviewed one of our volunteer heroines: Anne-Marie Colliander Lind, who helps to raise the money that makes Translators without Borders go round.
Q: If you were to write a brief wiki article about yourself, what facts and personal characteristics would you include?
A: I was born and raised in Stockholm, Sweden, and I’ve spent most of my summers in Spain. Horseback riding was my first true passion and I’ve competed successfully in show jumping until only a few years ago. Since I was little, my dream was to be bilingual, so maybe that is why I accidentally ended up in the translation industry. I have no qualification or experience as a translator, but I have been involved in the translation industry as a businesswoman since 1989. I am an optimistic, outgoing person; I see opportunities rather than challenges.
Q: What is your role at Translators without Borders?
A: My role is to raise funds by bringing more corporate sponsors to the organization. Translators without Borders has grown as an organization and has all elements well in place, however it does need more financial contributions to get to the next level – to reach out to more NGOs.
For Hillary Clinton’s latest trip to Africa, she probably didn’t need to take along many translators or interpreters. Maybe just a French speaker. Of the nine countries on her itinerary, seven are considered Anglophone and two Francophone.
That, of course, does not tell the whole story—far from it. In one of those Anglophone countries, Nigeria, more than 500 languages are spoken.
It’s mainly the elite who speak these colonial languages. In Uganda, it’s English, in Senegal, French, in Mozambique, Portuguese. But most people—especially outside the big cities—don’t understand those languages.
That’s a huge problem for aid agencies trying to get the word out about disease prevention. The brochures, leaflets and posters they distribute tend to be written in those colonial languages.
Lori Thicke, who runs Translators Without Borders, told me that she’s visited villages in Africa where you can find a plentiful supply of brochures about AIDS prevention. Many contain technical and sensitive information: how to practise safe sex, how to use a condom. But because the brochures are in written in European languages, it’s often the case that that the not a single villager understands them.
African and other news in our latest newsletter at http://twbnewsletter.translatorswithoutborders.org/
Translators without Borders Translator Training Session in Nairobi, Kenya
When the trainees have finished this module, they will begin translating a healthcare application into Swahili that can then be accessed via cell phones.
If you are going to Localization World in Seattle check out the 10.30 - 11.30 session “Keep it Simple Stupid — And Help Save the World”. Lori Thicke (Translators without Borders) and Val Swisher (Content Rules, Inc.) will talk about how simple English is making a difference for medical programs inKenya thanks to the work of these two organizations.
Swisher’s Appointment Highlights the Importance of Developing Global-Ready Content
San Francisco, CA (PRWEB) June 20, 2012
Content Rules, Inc. today announced that CEO Val Swisher has accepted an invitation to join Translators Without Borders’ Board of Directors. As a general board member, Swisher will act as an advisor on future Translators Without Borders projects.
Prior to her appointment, Swisher led several collaborative efforts between Content Rules and Translators Without Borders, including developing a training course on “How to Write Using Simplified English” for a new team of translators in Nairobi.
Currently, Val and her team at Content Rules are working with Translators Without Borders on the “Simple Wikipedia Project.” Throughout this 2+ year endeavor, a total of 80 medical articles posted on Wikipedia will be translated into simple English, which will enable the pages to be translated into many languages around the world.
“Val has already made a tremendous difference in our work in Africa so we are thrilled to welcome her to our board of directors,” says Lori Thicke, Co-Founder of Translators Without Borders. “With her passion and expertise in developing content that can be understood by people of all backgrounds, we look forward to having Val strengthen our impact.”