Global Voices/Lingua Translation Exchange

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FACILITATOR - Ivan Sigal

- Global Voices (GV) desiging translation exchange that will facilitate movement of content across multiple languages

- inspired by GV's Lingua translation project which translates GV content actively into 16 languages w/ 8 upcoming (http://globalvoicesonline.org/lingua/). Thought there might be ways this could be extended to translation of other non-GV conten

- also motivated by parallel reduction of foreign corespondents in major media

- looking at movement of content from local audiences to international spaces

- looking at ways to address current economy in which it's sometimes more expensive to produce a translation of a piece of content than than it is to produce the original

- thinking about questions of money and role of the "gift economy" in creating this mechanism

? - To what extent do you accept possible low quality of volunteers, esp in case of critical info like medical info? How do you rate translations in languages you don't know?

Ivan - there is category of translations that needs to have higher standard, eg medical info. Are there ways of categorising info according to the level of accuracy, style required?

Ed Bice - Recommends paper at noblorg.com/hdnlt that addresses question of categorising. Three variables: quality, turnaround time, cost that client willing to pay. Trans Ex will and should address different use cases and incorporation reputation system for translations within categories. Trans Ex should be built with a subscription model. Ability of distributed group of people to subscribe to a particular area of content.

Marc Herman - how valuable is a translation that presents only the gist of a piece of content?

Jo - as content prod I'm interested in finding out how to prioritise what gets translated

Ed B - in this kind of ecosystem top-down prioritising system disempowers translators. "What translators choose to translate" is answer to Jo's question. In a social translation setting you get to choose what to share.

Ivan - social translation community dynamic solves the problem of supply and demand, but can this economy be moved outside the space of a social network? How do you insert an external demand system into this and would it work?

Ivan offers example from Global Voices: Malgasy translator chooses to translate Venezuela article because it's relevant to her country. Imagine somebody outside of the GV network: Viet-language magazine in LA wants to have flow of info from SE Asia for publication. How does the Viet langage person request a translation, and will the person who does so voluntarily be willing to do so on demand? Will we have to pay for that over time?

? - translators' role is not often recognised, so giving credit for translation is a powerful incentive.

Darius K - this is important for reputation systems

Ivan - so people would need a profiles in order to facilitate tracking of their work

Marc H - question about quality. What will be the market for anything that's less than the top level? Does anybody need a so-so translation?

? - niche translators can be king in niche markets

Anna (Tactical Tech) - How important is it to have a little bit of each language to attract an audience (who might eventually become translators)? How important is it to get balance right?

? from Kazakhstan - about use of different languages and alphabets in Kazakh online space. What is best tool for transliteration in multiple languages?

? from Azerbaijan - In English to Azeri translation space, lack of supporting content eg translation memory banks. Uses Russian as a bridge lang, but this creates extra work.

Ed B - does translation exchange need to sync up with existing tools or is it about creating a matchmaking device?

Ivan - bridge language question. Will you always have to go through a popular language in order to get stuff translated into more obscure language?

Ivan - we see that for smaller national languages translators can be more motivated that more widely spoken languages eg GV Bangla translation site v GV Hindi translation site

? - thinkng trans ex may need to be specialised for different communities eg translators of activist material different from translators of other kinds of content. How to break that down to make it accessible and useful for different kinds of needs?

Ed B - How to have one project that allows for volunteers and paid translators working side by side w/out tension? Notes that translation tools driving down price of translation services.

Ivan - maybe if ppl have access to a steady flow of material that they don't pay for unless they commission it, that problem will partly solve itself?

Darius - open source textbook example. Who would have a stake in translating a textbook?

Ed B - Recommends we look at Pro-z (?) Translation exchange for professional community.

Jo - does translation exchange research mechanism/process include way of incorporating external input? And whether thinking of inviting other communities to support, partner etc?

Jo - my project focused on migration, people from diff areas moving around. Migrants are media and translators because they move around. How can we tap these resources so that migrant communities profit and publish their own content?

What's the demand. And what kinds of information is it important to have available in multiple languages?