OTT09 Session Ideas

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The agenda for OTT09 will be developed collaboratively in the time leading to the event, as well as during the proceedings.

This page is a starting point for brainstorming topics to put on the agenda. At the bottom of the page are topics we know will be covered in the agenda.

Agenda goals

The agenda goals of the 2009 event will be several:

  • Addressing the Translation Challenges Faced by the Open Education, Open Content, and human rights blogging communities, and mapping requirements to available open solutions.
  • Building on the vision and exploring new use cases for the Global Voices Lingua Translation Exchange
  • Documenting the state of the art in distributed human translation, and discussing how to further tap the tremendous translation potential of the net
  • Making tools talk better: realizing a standards-driven approach to open translation
  • Exploring and sketching out Open Translation API Designs, building on existing work and models
  • Documenting workflow requirements for missing open translation tools
  • Match-making between open source tools and open content projects
  • Mapping of available tools to open translation use cases
  • Implementing demand systems - i.e., 'what' to translate, rather than 'how'.

Agenda session ideas

Agenda session ideas below are grouped into 3 buckets:

  • Things you would like to share
  • Things you would like to learn
  • Things we should discuss

Please add your ideas to the top of the the appropriate lists!

Things you would like to share

From Wael Al Saad

  • How holistic-green-business can twine, Open Source Ecology, Open Source Technology and multi-lingual Community development.

From Philippe Lacour:

  • the Traduxio project, a freeware and open source digital workbench for 'scientific' translation of cultural texts
 - sandbox:

From Ahrash Bissell:

  • Can share specific tools and apps (we have built) for which some type of open translation schema is crucial given their overtly global nature. You can examine DiscoverEd and OpenEd to get a sense of the needs.
  • There are existing projects in open education (and perhaps reps from those projects will be at OTT09!) which are worth examining. E.g., OOPS, Yeeyan, etc.

From Dwayne Bailey:

1) What we're doing:

  • Feedback on what's happening in ANLoc - as the project director I'd

like to show people what we are addressing in enabling technologies, localisation and human language technology in Africa.

  • What Translate is working on: Pootle migration, Virtaal (first demo to

this audience), ODF and subtitle conversion for translation, calender localisation, spell checkers, terminology development, professional localisation course. There is a lot here and it depends on the audience what is important.

  • Localisation quality: I'm doing my masters on a localisation language

to enable the communication of formal information to localiser and localisation tools. The aim is to help input quality into the localisation process and to make it easier for a translator to complete the circle i.e. take there learning and more formally share it with others.

2) Big concept stuff: challenges, issues, new developments

  • Localisation is a process not a tool - that's my new mantra as I'm

getting a bit concerned about the many decision that are being made by software gurus for localisers and they all revolve around tools.

  • The usual suspects: crowd sourcing, yada yada, although I'm tired of

those and they can be studied in many other contexts.

  • Translator/translation evaluation - how to measure quality when you

can't speak the language.

  • Skills development and improvement for community localisers
  • Terminology development for localisation - best practices tools, etc
  • Locked down language resources - how do we get resource released under

licenses that are favourable for FOSS localisation and translation. How do we release our own resources. What resource are hampering other areas of Human Language Technology.

  • Strategies to reduce the amount of work required by a localiser.

from dongwon

  • some experience on (the failure of) organizing a local volunteer translation and radical language exchange group such as the 'Seoulidarity'(radical language exchange,
  • some experience on the video subtitle translation by using the Subtitle Workshop(it's just a freeware, not a free software, though), and the Virtual Dub for the permanent subtitle to the video file.

From Ed Zad: The TED Open Translation Project; the first large scale "controlled" crowd sourcing translation project for videos using dotSUB technology. How the back end project management tool allows for crowd controlled quality control and the staggering number of translations in progress.

From Kyo:

  • Minna no Hon'yaku (, a translation hosting site with translation-aid editor QRedit.
  • Some basic characteristics of Japanese volunteer translators

From Tanya:

  • would like to second Dongwon's call to explore different options for video subtitle translation.
  • would also like to look at how open translation can be effectively integrated into a CMS like Drupal.

From Silvia:

  • Google Translator Toolkit from a professional translator's point of view (eg. confidenciality issues, data lock-in)
  • Free and open source software for the translator: a compendium of tools categorized in five groups: editing and DTP, format conversion tools, linguistic tools, translation tools, project and resource management tools.

From Yeeyan:

1) Things we've done:

2) Behind the scene:

  • Tools for quality control: in-line comments, comprehensive error rates;
  • Community organization: translator hierarchies, community editors & proofreaders;
  • Translator motivations: 90%+ for non-monetary purposes;

3) Challenges:

  • Copyright: BSD-like licenses for content?
  • Community rewards: 53% of first quarter's income are given to translators, some users are still unsatisfied;
  • Commercialization: how to reduce cost and make the business scalable?

From omstefanov (olaf-michael)

1) Insights from working in language (translation and terminology) support inside international organizations

  • what that community could use; possibly synergies with the open source community

2) An Open Source software which goes a long way to supporting cross-lingual needs

  • when a wiki is not enough: TikiWiki/CMS/Groupware
  • what TikiWiki does today
  • where it could use help from developers
  • what it could lead to

Things you would like to learn

From Wael

  • How to integrate tools into applications

From Philippe Lacour

  • Tools or ideas about alernative projects of online collaborative translation workbench (not localisation)
 Open source Translation Memories
 Corpora navigation
 Also: ideas about transcription workbench (switching from a image-mode digitized manuscript to a digitized text)
  • ...
  • ...
  • how to implement the more open and collaborative process of multi-lingual subtitles-making and multi-lingual in-browser playing for the open video content.
    • examples: dobSUB( and subtitle-horse( (and any other?)
    • As far as i tested them so far, the dotSUB is great but only provides the video embed code, whereas the Subtitle-horse provides the php files to set it up on your site such as But the subtitle-horse is not open-sourced and it's only to set up web-based subtitle(s) translation interface. If you like to implement the multi-lingual in-browser player out of it, that's another job.
  • What has been the experience of the use of the Google Translator Toolkit?
  • Basic backgrounds of volunteer translators worldwide (especially those who tend not come to OTT).

From Yeeyan:

  • Machine Aided Human Translation (MAHT), which I believe is more attractive and prospective.

From omstefanov (olaf-michael)

  • whether there are interested php programmers present who are interested in a cross-lingual challenge
  • whether there are tools being presented at OTT09 that could be of interest to other communities
  • looking for possible speakers/presenters with exciting ideas and products and good presentation skills and stypes, for at least two major international conferences

Things we should discuss

From Philippe Lacour

  • Google translation workbench (even though it is not open source)
  • ...
  • ...
  • Global Voices Lingua Translation Exchange project will be presented and discussed. The project seeks to leverage collaboration with like-minded partners in considering whether the Global Voices’s model for distributed translation can work within different contexts
  • Tool/Content Project Match-making: This experimental exercise will endeavor to match content projects possessing strong interest in collaborative translation with tool makers offering potentially relevant and useful tools. A primary objective will be productive discourse, but there will also be an eye towards developing collaborative project ideas with the potential for funding, both to help content projects realize their translation needs and visions, as well as to help tool developers enhance their offerings, both in terms of features and usability.
  • Standards-driven approach to open translation: Emphasis will be placed at every step of discourse and documentation on standards-based models for translation. While powerful and ubiquitous standards such as XLIFF, PO and TMX exist, gaps and interoperability problems between standards are substantial, as is uneven support for various standards in various tools. The event will strive to characterize missing standards, and documents barriers to utilizing existing standards in open translation work.
  • Specifying workflow requirements for missing open translation tools: The most glaring tool gap identified at OTT07 centered on management of the translation process. While individual tools address specific components of the translation processes and needs, those overseeing and direction translation projects do not enjoy tool support for overall management of roles, tasks, and resources. Participants would design a set of workflow definitions, and work with developers to assess appropriate means of implementation.
  • Open Translation API Design: Most translation tools operate as stand-alone technologies, and have not been designed with interoperability as a primary consideration. Participants at OTT07 called out API (Application Programmer Interface) design and adoption as a critical objective in growing the open translation movement. While many tools use standard data formats such as PO, XLIFF, and TMX, very few expose API’s which would allow other tools to easily transfer data or invoke services remotely. The goal of an open translation API initiative would be to make the individual tools secondary, and shift focus to standardized services and functionality, thus providing translators with maximum power and flexibility. One proposed OTT07 example use case for API-based integration was to make Transifex, Damn Lies and Pootle work as a tool suite.
  • Mapping tools to use cases: OTT07 generated a rich inventory of open translation use cases, as well as a mapping of available open translation tools. An unfinished task is the correlation of appropriate tools to use cases. This mapping would be carried out in a fashion that enabled the information to be maintained online over time.
  • Designing the Translator Commons: A shared need identified at OTT07 was for an online venue where open translation practitioners could share best practices, find support, and exchange resources and services. Translator Commons was proposed as a destination where practitioners of open translation could go to find support and guidance for their practice. There is not currently any such online community for open translation, and the vision behind Translator Commons is to establish a venue where translators could discuss issues and challenges, including regional and language-pair-specific translation problems. Such a site would also maintain style guides and metastyle guides, and links to related resources. An additional desired feature would be a maintained mapping of other translation communities, providing context and contact information for those wanting to network more broadly. Ideally, such an entity would function as a social networking platform for translators, and provide not only support but opportunities for paid work and other engagement. Primary emphasis would be placed on complementing rather than duplicating existing resources.
  • Informing the book contents: Open content publishers with specific translation needs will define real-world use cases for the book to address, in part by attempting to design their translation strategies in collaboration with book authors. Depending on the state of each content project, tasks may include content design, tool selection, process definition, or quality tracking. This process will also serve to create a second circle of advocates for the use and dissemination of the book to a broad range of content publishing networks.
  • The corpora: what is the status of open vs proprietary corpora? Is there a repository/catalogue of open corpora? How important are open corpora important for open translation tools?
  • How to integrate open translation tools with open dictionary(if any).

From Ed Zad: I would like to discuss the relationship between the technologist and the linguists, what each one needs and how they do what they do so that they can better work together.

From Kyo Kageura:

  • Relation between volunteer translators and "professional" translators, including the current trend that unit price for translation is getting lower and lower.
  • The target of online volunteer translation, i.e. "what" vs. "how".
  • Copyright related issues.

From Laura Welcher:

  • standards for time aligned transcriptions and translations (i.e. subtitle formats) -- in particular Timed Text vs commercial formats like .stl and .srt. What is the best strategy for open translation tools? .stl and .srt, although proprietary, have a transparency that may advance their use even beyond their commercial ubiquity.
  • the "any language" problem -- how do enable this at even a basic level, such as providing support to XY language pairs in a Translator Commons?
  • the "all language" problem -- how do you enable tools for 7,000 languages, and why you should try
  • TED's new translation program -- what do people think of this as a workflow model for translation management?

From Silvia Flórez

  • The importance of style guides and glossaries for translators to improve consistency in large projects
  • Projects like

From Yeeyan:

  • Vote for Kyo's "copyright related issues".