Volunteers Help Translate Web Content


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Volunteers Help Translate Web Content

The user-created web—Wikipedia, blogs, and personal websites—has resulted in an unexpected challenge. Ethan Zuckerman, a research fellow at the Berkman Center for Internet and Society at Harvard, says that every day there is more to read, "but each person can individually read less of it because it's in multiple languages." A number of volunteer translators are providing free translation to bridge this language gap. The Global Voices translation project, also known as Lingua, enlists more than 100 volunteer translators working in 15 languages; the "Google in Your Language" program uses volunteers to translate into 120 languages; and two thirds of the presentations given at the recent TED Conference were translated by volunteers. Translators offer a variety of reasons for their decisions to volunteer. Some say they are excited by the content itself, others note that the work offers exposure and experience. For Anas Qtiesh, an Arabic-English translator and editor living in Damascus, it's "the challenge of translating between two very linguistically and culturally different languages.” June Cohen, executive producer of TED Media, says, "The volunteers are deeply committed to making the best translation, and they don't care how long it takes them."

From "A Web That Speaks Your Language"
New York Times (NY) (05/17/09) Berlin, Leslie

Source: ATA Newsbriefs - May 2009


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