MultiLingual – Getting Creative with CSR

“When all is said and done, and we look back at our lives, we can say ‘We did this.’”

Raising awareness is crucial for non-profit organizations seeking to inspire social conscious about important issues, and to encourage volunteering and sponsorship. Key to this inspiration is the impact of their digital presence, yet non-profits do not always have sufficient in-house technical expertise necessary to maximize the potential of digital marketing tools. Fortunately, Translators without Borders (TWB) has a powerful asset in this respect. Idaho-based MultiLingual Computing, Inc. not only hosts and supports the technical aspects of the TWB website, but it also manages TWB’s email accounts, a critical tool in the organization’s daily operations.

Donna Parrish
Donna Parrish

MultiLingual Computing is a leading information source for the localization, internationalization and translation industry, and an enthusiastic and like-minded supporter of TWB. Its print magazine, MultiLingual, reaches subscribers in 92 countries, and it also publishes a free, bi-weekly e-newsletter. Editor-in-chief and publisher Donna Parrish ensures that Translators without Borders is visible in both publications. Most recently, MultiLingual ran two complimentary full-page ads for TWB in the magazine, and an advert in the newsletter.

MultiLingual – TWB Gold Sponsor

MultiLingual’s contributions go even further. The company recently became a TWB Gold Sponsor, donating US$5,000 to strengthen the capacity and operations of the organization. Donna is also a member of the TWB board and brings 25 years of programming experience and an in-depth appreciation of the technical issues involved in dealing with different languages. Donna promotes TWB through her role as Principal of LocWorld, the leading conference for the global business of translation, localization, and global website management. Translators without Borders is invited to the conference each year, and a booth is provided – an invaluable donation that fosters TWB’s outreach and fundraising efforts.

Donna points out that fundraising for TWB and other good causes can also be a lot of fun:

For last year’s LocWorld conference in Dublin, KantanMT invited us to help organize a coastal treasure hunt and hike to raise funds for TWB. It was great fun made even more so with beautiful views, tasty snacks, and enjoyable camaraderie. Best of all, the event raised US$6,500 for TWB! Participants loved it and were rewarded for their efforts with a pub supper and traditional Irish music.

This year we’re holding the June 2017 conference in Barcelona, and of course, TWB will be there. Barcelona is always a draw for attendees from all over the world. We hope they learn many things, including how important the work of TWB is.”

Another creative fundraising idea from MultiLingual was during the holiday period last year. Magazine readers who donated US$100 or more to TWB were offered a free annual digital subscription!

Partners in Synergy

Multilingual Team

Social media is a valuable tool TWB uses to raise awareness of the importance of access to vital information in the right languages. Donna and her team at MultiLingual regularly engage with TWB on social media to help amplify those messages to reach a broader audience. Donna explains:

Translators without Borders is often seen as the non-profit arm of the localization industry, the moral compass. What it does for people in need with the support of its sponsors, elevates the industry and the translation profession. That is good for everyone in the industry.

Our partnership with TWB also benefits from the focus on reciprocity. While we support TWB in any way we can, TWB does its best to give visibility to MultiLingual whenever possible using its fast expanding social media presence and its website. This is the “give-back” to us, and we value it highly.

Our partnership with Translators without Borders dates back to 2010 when Lori Thicke asked me to join the board, which I did with pleasure. Why? Someone at MultiLingual put it succinctly: when all is said and done, and we look back at our lives, we can say ‘We did this.’”

Blog AuthorBy Sarah Powell, Translators without Borders volunteer writer 

 

VoiceBox – Spreading the message through video

“As a company, we love the immediacy and accessibility of what we do. We are delighted to be able to help Translators without Borders in achieving its mission – you can’t put a price on that!”

Working in over 200 languages, VoiceBox, a multimedia agency based in the vibrant production and tech hub of Swansea, South Wales, is an expert in video content localization using multilingual voiceover and subtitling. In 2016, VoiceBox established a new working relationship with Translators without Borders for the provision of multilingual dubbing and subtitles for a series of videos.

The agency is currently working on two projects with TWB. One involves dubbing a video for young people, produced by Blue Seat Studio, focusing on the important theme of sexual consent into 12 languages from Finnish, Russian and Bulgarian to Greek, Italian and German. Another project involves dubbing a series of World Health Organization training videos, which are part of a public health emergency exercise program for communications professionals, into French and Russian.

Voicebox: Responding to the demands of a fast-changing world

VoiceBox’s Marketing Manager Ben Dobson explains that “video content can overcome barriers to literacy and provide useful solutions through subtitles or signing for the deaf or hard of hearing. This means our work guarantees both immediacy and accessibility. This is invaluable at times of crisis or disaster when important messages must reach the largest possible audience to support people in need. Our work with TWB builds on this capability.”

For maximum exposure of video content, we also focus on social media engagement and search engine optimization. Of course, throughout, quality of product is paramount. Our cloud-based operation uses 100% native-only artists to ensure linguistic authenticity. Our translators don’t just translate, they effectively ‘trans-create.”

Our wide range of clients includes companies and organizations of all sizes, from big names such as Disney, Coca-Cola, Intel, Google, Apple and the BBC to up-and-coming production agencies such as GinGenious. As a company, we love the immediacy and accessibility of what we do. We are delighted to be able to help Translators without Borders in achieving its mission – you can’t put a price on that!

Become a TWB sponsor

Click here to learn about the types of sponsorships offered at TWB. Annual sponsorship commitments are available from Bronze ($1,000) to Diamond Plus ($20,000), and many levels in between.

Blog AuthorBy Sarah Powell, Translators without Borders Volunteer 

When the thinkers meet the doers – TWB in-kind sponsor Asian Absolute

Collaboration with in-kind sponsor Asian Absolute

Asian Absolute, the language services company, has been a valuable in-kind sponsor to Translators without Borders (TWB) since 2011, offering technical support and expertise for the organization website. We spoke to Henry Clough, Managing Director of Asian Absolute who told us about his experience collaborating with TWB.

“In 2011 I became aware of TWB through its presence at the Association of Translation Companies’ conference. We had been discussing within Asian Absolute how we could give back to society in a meaningful way, and I was immediately drawn to TWB – both its impressive achievements with the obvious commitment of the people involved, and also its relevance to what we do at Asian Absolute.”

“After a couple of email exchanges with Lori Thicke (the founder of TWB) it became apparent that there was a need within TWB which lay within Asian Absolute’s core expertise and I offered to put our web engineering team at the disposal of TWB.”

“We provide maintenance and updates for the website. Primarily this involves adding press releases and other external communications to the site, as well as updating the details of NGOs, sponsors and volunteers, and there’s some creative work from time to time developing new pages and functionality. The TWB team is very easy to work with and Asian Absolute is given the opportunity to contribute ideas towards the development of the digital presence, most recently during the planning for the new website.”  

Henry also talked a little about TWB’s new website. “The old site was built in Drupal and we’ve now migrated to WordPress. Our engineers are comfortable with both systems so for us the switch is just an exercise in developing new processes to reflect the new structure of the site.”

Finally, he describes his experience with TWB as, “Very positive”

The individuals at Asian Absolute who perform the tasks for
Translators without Borders enjoy having the opportunity to apply their skills to an endeavor which is making such a positive impact on the world, and our wider team is inspired by TWB’s mission.

Asian Absolute
The team at Asian Absolute with their TWB mugs.

“The people at TWB are great to work with, we are impressed by the professionalism and efficiency which we encounter, and reassuring us that the time we put in is well spent.”

The professional support TWB receives from Asian Absolute enables the organization to run one of its core outreach activities, the website.

More about Asian Absolute here.

Become a sponsor

Read more on the TWB website, if you or your organization want to become a TWB sponsor.

Blog AuthorBy Francesca Debernardis, former Translators without Borders Communication Intern

Translators without Borders Receives Funding for Crisis Relief Network

Translators without Borders (TWB) is pleased to announce funding for a pilot of its Words of Relief system to improve communications between aid workers and local populations during humanitarian emergencies. The funding by the Humanitarian Innovation Fund (HIF) recognizes the critical role language and translation play in improving crisis response and saving lives.

Translators without Borders will test the concept in Kenya with Swahili and Somali, and will work collaboratively with a number of partners including UN-OCHA, the Communicating with Disaster Affected Communities Network (CDAC-N), Acrolinx, Content Rules and Microsoft. TWB was one of six projects to receive funding in HIF’s fifth round of funding; total funding for the projects exceeded one million dollars.

Kim Scriven, manager of the HIF said: “This round of funding has identified an exciting and diverse range of innovative ideas at the forefront of the humanitarian system.” The HIF, supported by the UK Department for International Development (DFID) and the Canadian International Development Agency (CIDA), funds projects across the world which use innovation and technology to improve the global response to natural disasters and humanitarian crises.

Words of Relief was developed to address a critical problem: two-way communications during and immediately after a crisis. During a prolonged crisis or following a sudden-onset crisis, one of the most immediate priorities for both relief workers and victims is disseminating and receiving information. Yet language barriers frequently complicate this effort. This was particularly apparent after the 2010 Haiti earthquake and the 2011 Tohoku earthquake/tsunami in Japan, when NGOs and frontline aid workers realized they were unprepared and unable to communicate in the primary languages of the affected populations. According to a 2012 report by the International Organization for Migration, “Affected households prefer receiving information in their regional language…. [but] the role of regional and local languages is often neglected while devising communication strategies.”

Words of Relief aims to eliminate linguistic barriers that can impede vital response and relief efforts during and after a crisis by 1) building a corps of vetted translators and interpreters, as well as machine translation capacity, in under-resourced world languages; 2) preparing a digital “inventory” of essential crisis response information in multiple local languages that can be accessed on demand by aid organizations, frontline relief workers, and affected communities; and 3) maintaining a network of human and technological linguistic resources that can be mobilized immediately in response to a crisis. The pilot of the program will test processes and technologies to be used in development of a worldwide network.

The pilot is a 17-month project, commencing in November.

For more information about HIF funding click here. To view the HIF’s portfolio of projects click here.

For further information contact: Rebecca Petras [email protected]

 

TWB awarded grant from Indigo Trust to support medical translation project for Wikipedia into Swahili

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.

Subtitles for Mothers in India from Translators without Borders

Translators without Borders volunteer Leandro Reis is leading a project to subtitle health films into over a dozen Indian languages including Telugu, Gujarati and Kannada. These films, created by the Mother and Child Health and Education Trust, will encourage hospitals and community health workers to teach new mothers about breastfeeding their babies.

His subtitling work is being carried out on the dotSUB.com platform.

Why is this so important? Because each day 11,000 babies die in the developing world from preventable causes. Of those who die, 22 percent could survive if their mothers had better knowledge about breastfeeding.

Thanks to the volunteers you see here, and many others, Translators without Borders is working to ensure that in the future, mothers in India will know how to keep their babies healthy. Read more here.

Willingness to Work Again

ProZ.com is a Translators without Borders partner organization that provides a powerful technological platform for outsourcing translations for the NGOs that Translators without Borders help in their humanitarian work.

The ProZ.com professionals created a system that helps the users to request, collect and display feedback from clients and colleagues in their profiles in the form of their “willingness to work again” (“WWA”) with the translators. This is a way to appeal to potential clients and to set a translator apart in the ProZ.com directory.

Many translators who volunteer their time and expertise to help Translators without Borders deliver on translation projects for humanitarian not-for-profit organizations have received the WWA feedback. It means that Translators without Borders provides high quality professional service to partner NGOs.

The volunteer translators who received Willingness to Work Again (WWA) feedback as a result of working on Translators without Borders projects include Katie Voutt, Blandine Drooghmans, Susan Pasco, Norah Mulvihill, Manuela Mariño Beltrán, Géraldine Bestel, Monique Sarah, Carol Chaykin and many others.

Find out more about how the Willingness to Work Again feature works.

Blog AuthorBy Marina Sayfulina, former Translators without Borders Social Media volunteer