EN What is Transtrad? Translator to translator. Tools and tips for translation. Questions, problems, mutual help. ES ¿Qué es Transtrad? Entre traductor@s. Herramientas y consejos para traducciones. Preguntas, problemas, ayuda. FR Qu'est-ce que Transtrad ? Traducteurs-trices à Traducteurs-trices. Outils et conseils pour la traduction. Questions, problèmes, aide mutuelle.


Postby transtrad-coord » Tue Feb 17, 2004 6:33 am

As you know it, Transtrad is a new project inside Babels. It started in the wake of Paris ESF. It is time today to lay it out and to make decisions together on its functioning, its goal, and so on.

We think Transtrad is an original project. We are also aware that Transtrad is not the only possible project. Other volunteer translator groups exist in the world. We are working with some of them and of course are ready to further our collaborations wherever it is possible.

Today there are several work proposals for Transtrad. We would like to invite you to discuss them together and finalize them. One of the goals is that around March we can be ready to write a document which defines them and can help us present Transtrad to newcomers.

The main Transtrad guidelines could be as following:

1) Transtrad and Social Forum documents: Memory and Preparation.

It is about contributing at the same time to the Social Forum building (translating preparatory documents) and to the built of its collective written memory (translating reports, plenary and seminar synthesis.).
At this time we are working on the ESF2003 Memory Project (www2.fse-esf.org), a translation project toward Spanish and English (and maybe in a near future German and Italian) of the reports from the Paris ESF.

2) Organization Projects: Non-commercial and information

But Transtrad should also define itself outside of events, to build its own dynamic. This can happen by building specific projects, well defined and in relation with Babels spirit and ethic, as the "50 Years is Enough" Project (a network of organization fighting against the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund) or the CADTM Project (an organization fighting for debt cancellation).

3) Babels Projects: To become active, to search, to gather, to publish.

The idea is to publish regularly, in several languages, according to different centre of interest linked with us, articles around given themes. It should be therefore about:
- To find interesting articles on this theme and to gather them
- To have them translated in various languages depending on our possibilities
- To publish them at least on the Internet or thanks to other media depending on what could be possible.

Help us to better define these would-be guidelines, to discuss them, to critic them, even to set others if needed.


Posts: 14
Joined: Fri Dec 12, 2003 2:48 pm
Location: Murcia, Spain

Transtrad organisation

Postby Elena » Wed Feb 18, 2004 6:39 pm

I think it is a good idea to start talking about Transtrad, because in my opinion we play a very important role within Babels, since our work is not only needed during the social fora, but also before and after them.

I participated in the ESF in Paris, we were 30 translators and had almost no work. We were supposed to get work from the restitution group to publish updated information on the forum in the web site, but we got almost nothing to translate. I don't know whether we were too many for the actual needs of the forum or whether there was no communication/coordination between the ESF organisation and Babels (or both), but the truth is that a lot of money was spent for having us there doing nothing. I think we need some kind of hierarchy, maybe one person per target language to choose translators for the fora (I don't know how the selection for Paris was made, but we were too many translators into Spanish).

I also think that it is important that we feel we belong to a group. There should be more communication among all of us (this forum is a great idea), because otherwise we won't feel involved in the project. We should also get more information on the structure of Transtrad (do we have a coordinator? several? who does what? are more people needed?) I think one of the problems of Babels is that newcomers (and also people who have already participated in a forum, like me) don't know how Babels works.

Kind regards,


Posts: 173
Joined: Thu Nov 20, 2003 9:36 am
Location: France

Postby ljesover » Thu Feb 19, 2004 9:33 am

Yes we had difficulties during the ESF. For me because of two reasons, main ones:

1- Specific to that ESF. The "restitution" group just before the beginning of the ESF changed its way of working. We were aware of this just few days before the beginning if not less. Why it did ? Because he couldn't be up to the project put forward: lack of volunteers, lack of means and so on.

2- This was the first time we reunite a group of translators during an event. Although we made it known the best we could (not at the beginning since normaly the restitution group was "plenty" of work) once we knew that we will not have work through the channel we were planning on. I guess most of the organizations were not used to it and therefore didn't have the idea to use it. When on top of this you add the fact that the ESF was split in 4 very distant location and that the translators were only in La Villette... well, you have all the components to make problems.

I agree with you on all you said.

About coordinators: we are 2 at the moment. Andrea and I. We would like to be many more... or at least some more :-)

Our job is to make sure documents are not translated two times and to manage the work flow. You have to be very organized and know a bit about excell and wordprocessing. You do not have to be able to be a writer or reader in many languages... Just say so, in case you know people, not translators necessarily, who want to get involved.

About translator group during an event. During the WSF in Mumbai there were none. My feeling is that there should be a few for all this type of events. It is needed and during the WSF at one point it was really. This is something we didn't put in the proposed guidelines... maybe because for the moment we are not fully aware of this issue. But definitively we have to discuss this at one point to know why, who, how for this.

Posts: 16
Joined: Fri Dec 19, 2003 1:08 am
Location: London, UK

translators at the ESF 2004

Postby dannyc » Sun May 09, 2004 11:06 pm

Hello all
Something I've been trying to put forward here at babels-uk these
last few days (not had much response yet as we've got tons of other stuff to do), ........
How do you feel about the possibililty-potential of having translators taking "minutes" or "reports" at each of the seminars? There are obvious reasons why the number of languages that can be interpreted in to will be limited: number of booths, technical issues of broadcasting-headsets, availability, ......
The feeling here (in the UK) is that pretty much everything (nearly?) will be in English + other languages as needed + other languages that may be useful/desirable for the ESF process (no promises at this stage).
Could we "extend" that by having "minute takers" in several languages
(listening to English, or whichever other language they speak) producing a report-minutes as the seminar is being held (or shortly afterwards)

Should Nomad be used (we're pushing for it but haven't got any clear answers for the UK ESF Committe yet), then each seminar can be recorded and archived. In this instance, people taking minutes-notes during the seminar may not be so necessary.

Anyway, comments welcome

Danny Cooley
(babels-uk transtrad coordinator)

Posts: 14
Joined: Fri Dec 12, 2003 2:48 pm
Location: Murcia, Spain

A couple of ideas to consider

Postby Elena » Sun May 30, 2004 4:44 pm


Recently there was a discussion in a translators' mailing list I belong to about voluntary translators. One of the participants said that it could be a good idea to send a proforma invoice to the relevant organisation after completion of each job so that the "client" knew how much the translation would cost, and that the voluntary work should be considered as a contribution in kind by the respective translator. This proposal was actually for translators who work for NGOs that need translations and not for organisations like Babels, but I still find it interesting. I know that sending "invoices" would mean more work for Babels, but I also think that this way end "clients" would better appreciate our work. This could also apply to interpreting services.

The second idea is about the registration form and language classification. I don't know whether such classification is used in professional interpreting, but I find it very strange for translation (at least in Spain it is different). In my opinion, we should have a different classification for written translation:
A language: mother tongue (the language we translate into)
B language: first foreign language (very good command)
C language: second foreign language (good command)
D language: third foreign language (basic level)
One can have more than one language in any of the categories, but nobody should translate into a language which is not his/her mother tongue.
For instance, with the current classification my details are as follows:
1 A Written Translation: es-Spanish
1 C Written Translation: en-English
2 C Written Translation: da-Danish
3 C Written Translation: de-German
I didn't consider my English to be good enough to translate into, though it is much better than my Danish and my German. With the classification I propose, Spanish would be my A language, English would be my B language, Danish and German would both be C languages, and French could be my D language. I think this classification can help in the selection of translators for projects -if there is a need for translators of Italian into many languages, translators with Italian as a B language should be prioritised.

What do you think?

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