EN-Volunteer selection methodology

Porto Alegre, Brasil, January 26-31, 2005
Claudia F

The delegates

Postby Claudia F » Mon Jul 26, 2004 10:11 am

my name's Claudia, I'm from Spain and I live in Geneva....I think that what's being said in this forum and the Spanish one is very interesting, but nobody seems to think about our "clients": the "delegates", the public, the people who listens to the interpretation. Yes, everybody wants to gain experience in a booth, but we should think about the consecuence of putting someone with no experience (I don't mean poeple who have studied interpreting for one or two years and are getting now into the market. No, I mean people who are not going to be interpreters and just want to give it a try)...There are people who depend on the interpreters to know what's going on in the debate of the Forum, and if they can't undesrtand it beacuse the interpreting is not good or doesn't make sense, what's the point?? I mean, the goal, here, is not us, is it? It's them, the poeple we are helping to comunicate! We have to try and give a good service whenever is possible.....and I think this is not possible when the person who's interpreting doesn't know what interpreting is...There's too much at stake in the WSF, I don't think is the ideal framework to make a first interpreting experience...at least in a booth.

Lupita Fitzcarraldo

Delegates and so on...

Postby Lupita Fitzcarraldo » Mon Jul 26, 2004 3:37 pm

Hi guys,

AgnesG has raised some good points regarding the type of interpreting to be used in the Forum. I agree, especially regarding the consecutive point. Consecutive is time-wasting plus not many people are good at it. Simultaneous or chuchotage (whispering) seem the best option. As AgnesG points out, chuchotage is often favoured because it's cheaper, however, it only works in very small groups so..... And I guess the fact that we are having to explain this brings me to another point raised by Claudia (hola!): Perhaps it is neccessary to have some sort of experience as interpreter/translator in order to volunteer. Because as Claudia states, some delegates will actually depend on our interpreting skills. I'm beginning to think that there is a pressing need for some sort of selection process. It's no good to say that we are volunteering and that's that. No, guys. The success of the Forum depends on our ability to use our language skills to maximum effect . A selection criteria is needed.

Laurent also mentions getting together within our local groups in order to discuss matters further. At the moment, the Babels group in Edinburgh does not seem very active, it has to be said. Then again, it's the end of July and people are going on holidays (bastards...). Am not sure, really. One of the things that kills me about all this is that am never completely certain things are happening for sure. Do you know what I mean? It's like I'm always hanging by a thread. I'd like to have more information, and that's certainly something that could be provided by Babels itself. Uff! Suddenly, today's too hot in Scotland. Can't think straight cuz my brain keeps on freezing and defrosting all in the same day. Speak to you soon people.

Regards, Lupita :)


Postby laurent » Mon Jul 26, 2004 3:37 pm

Who are we ? And where do we come from ?

Today report on who is registered in the database as a volunteer, is allowing us to have some information. For me, there is too many European, 52% at this time. There are clear potential in the Americas that have not been awaken yet. I'll suggest to have the call circulating in the region.

With more than 600 less experience people (140 people have not give any information regarding their level of proficiency as far as simultaneous interpreting) there will be a problem at the end. In fact I imagine that the number of experience and professional people are setting the number of less experience ones (one for one as a maximum) unless we are putting people in real difficulties during the WSF...

If people know people who know people... well it time to know them :-)


interpretation equipment

Postby mir » Mon Jul 26, 2004 6:24 pm

Regarding equipment... it is usually quite expensive to rent interpretation equipment and to make sure everyone has a receiver, especially in big meetings... then things get chaotic and you end up losing a few of these very expensive receivers.

Whispering is just not feasible in many meetings, although it could work in specific instances. And let's not even suggest consecutive, for God's sake!

I have no idea how this has been resolved in the past. But allow me to suggest we try to come up with a technical solution. It could be very easy to set up a simple and cheap FM transmitter (such as those used for cheap cordless microphones) and delegates would just have to get ahold or be provided with an FM radio and listen with headphones. It would only be one channel for both languages. We would still have to get microphones and a mixer to get sound from the floor, but this could save a lot of money. is there a technical team supporting the WSF somewhere that could help here?

Does this make sense?

Posts: 14
Joined: Wed Dec 03, 2003 2:40 pm

Re: interpretation equipment

Postby Mamur » Mon Jul 26, 2004 10:20 pm

mir wrote:is there a technical team supporting the WSF somewhere that could help here?

FM is one of the technologies used in the last WSF, in Mumbai. It is not the only alternative system that was used, and there are others being studied. The Nomad proyect is made up of technology activists working, among other things, on the kind of problems you mention. See the website here: http://www.apo33.org/babels/

lupita fitzcarraldo

RE: interpretation equipment

Postby lupita fitzcarraldo » Mon Jul 26, 2004 11:15 pm

I agree with Mir. Don't even mention consecutive unless you want a sudden stampede for the airport.

FM technology has then been used in prior WSF. Mamur, have you used this kind of technology then? Does it work? Could it be possible to involve someone from the Nomad project in this talks so they can share experiences with us and give us guidance on what we can expect if and when we interpret at the WSF in Porto Alegre?

Regards, Lupita


WSF Porto Alegre

Postby Sophia » Tue Jul 27, 2004 12:39 am

Saludos de Costa Rica -
I would love this opportunity to not only attend the WSF but to be able to support such a vital movement for the future of people and the earth. I live in Costa Rica and my life is totally bilingual. I've translated in lots of different settings, and agree with a lot of what has been mentioned here that in formal translation settings, with booth, mics etc, much is left to be desired and the richness of dialogue is often minimized. It will be important to have adequate spaces for small group dialogue and discussion where translation will facilitate rather than inhibit communication.

I hope I can contribute my skills to this effort and look forward to discussing these issues with all of you.


hello there

Postby darasoaras » Wed Jul 28, 2004 6:36 am

I have worked in the first two wsf, I hope we all do a great job next year.


Postby Azucena » Wed Jul 28, 2004 12:38 pm

First of all, thanks to Babel for the amazing work you are doing for this and previous Social Fora. I participated as a volunteer interpreter in Paris and was impressed with the enormous logistic (and non-logistic) work carried out very successfully.

I have to agree with those who consider the need for good communication a priority. Overcoming communication barriers is one of the most important tasks at the Forum. If we want to offer real alternatives to the way the World is today, there is no use in compromising this – we would be giving the powers that be an advantage they certainly do not need if we limit ourselves and cannot work as one due to these limitations. The Forum is far too important a voice to silence it with lack of REAL PARTICIPATION of those who have something to say. Everyone who offers his/her services should be made aware of this. However, we should also ensure that they take into account this awareness when putting themselves forward. But can we trust everyone to do this? I am afraid the answer is not as I had the chance to discover in Paris. As some of you mentioned, sadly there were people who came as volunteers for the ride.

It seems to me two factors must be taken into account when devising a selection process for volunteer interpreters:
• Quality of communication
• Inclusion of those who wish to participate in the Forum as volunteer linguists.

As the WSF takes place in different regions every time and funds are limited for interpreting services, a – perhaps not very popular - idea might be to select the volunteers with little or no experience from the region (all of the Americas in this case?) and professional / experienced volunteers from the region and beyond. Assuming the aim would ideally be to have same number of experienced and inexperienced volunteers during the Forum so that inexperienced volunteers can have the best possible support and the quality of interpreting is therefore maximised, this would ensure that:

• GENERALLY, inexperienced interpreters from different regions are afforded the opportunity to participate and gain experience at different Fora. I.e. this time around it would be volunteers from the Americas. Next year it would be volunteers from whatever region the next WSF is held.
• The quality of interpreting – and let’s not forget it – the level of REAL participation of delegates, is increased.
• Available funds allocated to bringing interpreters from afar (which I assume is the one of the highest costs) are mainly dedicated to ensuring there are a minimum number of experienced interpreters.

HOWEVER, these experienced interpreters must also commit to offering support to their inexperienced colleagues. How could this be done? An idea could be (if feasible) to pair off experienced / inexperienced volunteers who could be in contact well before the Forum and would ideally work together as much as possible during the meetings. They could develop a rapport before the Forum, the experience interpreter could brief and give “tips” to her / his colleague, etc. All this would benefit the teamwork in the booth. Experience interpreters could also facilitate a series of workshops on the day before the Forum for the inexperienced interpreters (familiarisation with interpreting equipment, practical tips, etc.)
All of the above is generally in relation to simultaneous interpreting. There are, however, other opportunities to use volunteers’ language skills (hosting, small side meetings with bilateral interpreting, etc.)

I suspect, however, that this is easier said than done. But at this point we assume we are just brainstorming. So these are my thoughts for the moment. I eagerly await further participation from everyone. It might spark more ideas in my tired brain!!



selection of volunteers

Postby Pooja » Wed Jul 28, 2004 7:13 pm


I'am an Indian based in Mumbai. All the posts here show that the one thing that we all agree upon is the quality of communication or interpretation. The "quality" however i think, is not only dependant upon the experience as an interpretor but also upon the familiarity with the subject at hand. For instance..familiarity with what is wsf all about.....what are the issues raised in it etc......this could also be an important criterion for the profile of the volunteers. Also i agree with Laurent in the volunteer having a "willingness to learn".....

I guess the next question that follows is how does one determine these aspects...mamy's idea of a draft or description of why one wants to volunteer doesn't seem very convincing...unless it is utilised for a primary or first phase of selection. I understand the need to weed out individuals who would want a free ride or a good name on the CV etc....but how difficult would it be for anyone to justify their genuine desire to volunteer....

To begin with, an update on the experiences in the previous WSF's would be welcome. Though laurent did mention few points in his post but if someone could elaborate on existing methods of selection, the experience with the resulting volunteers, any changes in the method.....this could really help the discussion.

Azucena's suggestion of pairing off experienced / inexperienced volunteers could actually prove good. Moreover those who have been volunteering at the previous wsf's could orient others in small online group discussions...this could help to clarify doubts..give a clearer picture to individuals and maybe even help them decide whether they can do this task or not.......

Well...thats all for now...hopefully i should sound more focussed the next time...:) and I also hope that in our zeal, we do not snub those eager to participate and contribute to wsf.....

Take care everyone....



Re: EN-Volunteer selection methodology

Postby Guest » Fri Jul 30, 2004 7:46 pm

For the time being,I would like to send congratulations for all the peoples who are committed in the volunteership.

I will give my opinion as soon as it is necessary.I can just say that all is quite perfect.That is why I no use to add some thing.
Congratulations to everybody.


Postby Camila » Tue Aug 03, 2004 1:52 pm

I am a Social Sciences major who will be graduating next year. My name is Camila, and I studied in the USA last year. I do think the WSF a great oportunity to get involved into subjects concerning to my research project, which is on Environmental Justice and to meet people to share ideas and expiriences. I still don't undrestand how this forum is working, but it's already a pleasure to be here.


selection methodology

Postby Pedro » Wed Aug 18, 2004 4:58 am

Hello everybody!

I am very excited with the prospect of giving a hand at the WSF! I hail from Rio de Janeiro and have just volunteered as a "first experience" simultaneous translator. And I would like to ask something straight away:

Laurent, in his (her?) message of July 23, mentioned a discussion taking place in the Spanish section of this electronic forum about how translation booths were organized in ESF2003; they mixed more experienced simultaneous translators with less experienced people or first timers. Sounds like I'd really love to do this, even though I don't fully understand how a booth with two differently skilled simultaneous translators would work (well, I AM a first timer, eh?). Could anybody say a word or two on this please?

Thanks and glad to be here!


Postby Guest » Fri Aug 20, 2004 3:03 pm

Hi, I'm Martin, writing from San Francisco, California. It's great to have this forum to exchange suggestions about improving the Forums!

Mamy wrote:for this reason I propose (I did it also after Paris) to write a "contract", a document, a Carta which should clear up the reasons why we are working free, but with trip and food paid

I'd like to second Mamy's proposal about having volunteers sign an agreement of some kind, affirming their commitment to attend and carry out whatever work it is that they are being selected for.

I'd also like to mention that I agree with those who have suggested that we put in place a somewhat more selective process for the selection of interpreters. I interpreted at the ASF in Quito and it was a very positive experience. I like that we have professionals paired with non-professionals. At the same time, I and some of the other interpreters had experiences with non-professionals who were unable to interpret *at all*. One fellow I worked with froze when it was his turn. He only stammered out a few words and then gave up. I encouraged him to try a few more times during the panel, but each time he gave up after only a few seconds. This was a painful experience for him, and I didn't exactly relish it either, since I had to interpret by myself for three hours. Later, he told me that he had never studied translation or interpreting, or even done any on an informal basis. Although I am not claiming that you have to have gone to school in order to be a decent interpreter, I do think that it would be in everyone's best interest for the WSF and Babels to select interpreters who at least have done *some kind* of interpreting before, even if only as volunteers. It might also be useful to put the audio files for some conference presentations online so that prospective interpreters can listen to them and try to interpret them simultaneously. Some beginning interpreters may have done consecutive interpreting but never simul, and I think it's overly optimistic to assume that all (or even most) of them will be able to swim rather than sink when they are put in a real-life simul situation, with a real audience who is counting on them to transmit the message.
Thanks for this opportunity to share my point of view.

Posts: 4
Joined: Wed Nov 19, 2003 11:37 pm

A few hints from last year

Postby lo » Mon Aug 23, 2004 6:33 pm


As pointed out 445 times by laurent since the topic was launched, and a few reasonable times by some of you, one of the first thing would be to share with you the experience of interpreters selection we went through for the WSF4 (and other events.)

To be honest, there was not enough time when we started the 2004 WSF selection process to build a grid with thousand condition cells and try to find bingo interpreters. It was more like a roll the dice game with a few criterias that came into the plot during the year 2003, inspired by international WSF preparation meetings and collective "on the spot" reflexions amongst wsf babels team during ESF 2003. But, hey, let's try to describe how we worked it out.

* The importance of the context

Mumbai was the first World Social forum in which babels was participating as a "member" of the organisation comity (which proved far from being easy but that's another story ) .
Outside of Porto alegre, in a country with a wide range of official languages, with an english spoken by the indian educated elite but hardly understandable by foreigners (including interpreters), with hard weather conditions and dusty long days of monotonous plenaries... Mumbai was the fourth world social forum, but it was also and mainly something strongly related to Mumbai, India. It was also a completely new experimentationn field with a new interpretation equipment based on a nomad system to be installed in all WSF events in the 5 biggest rooms. This moment was an extraordinary crossing point between the wsf process and Babels growing process as a projects matrix after the painful and successful experience of ESF 2003.
Something we kept (willingly or unconsciously) in mind when we decided to emphasize the presence of professionnal or strongly experienced interpreters in the WSF4 team. We knew it wasn't something respectful of our political and ethical open process of including non experienced interpreters in the booths, but we also knew that inviting unexperienced interpreters willing to experiment their skills in such conditions would have had the impact of a weapon of massive destruction on their motivations and mind. Old soldiers are better equipped and their skin grows stronger while years go by. So, professional persons they were for 85% of them. The decision proved right, because conditions were really extreme, even for experienced booth dwellers - Loudspeakers just above the "opened to the sky" booths, dust, noises, thousands of fans running mad closeby, technical adjustments and more awful freaks were there.

Conditions in Porto alegre 2005 may not be as tough as they were in Mumbai.

** An international network for an international process

As laurent mentionned regarding the POA2005 WSF, it would be a good thing if one of the first geographical regions to look for interpreters in the colonial languages was around Porto alegre, in order to have more budget allocated to the coming of interpreters from faraway countries. Same thing was decided in Mumbai though it proved quite hard to organize for very specific reasons :
- Mumbai is in India, country of 16 official languages (Hindi + regional languages + english). The WSF was to be a 11 languages melting pot event, including 5 regional ones from india. At that time, only 5 or 6 interpreters with indian languages had registered on babels database. No interpreters network was existing in India (or none that we knew about).
- Korean and japanese were for the first time official languages in the WSF. No babels coordination in those countries.
That was the situation in june or july when our messengers in India came back with useful contacts of interested people from korea, japan and india. The main idea was to help them gather interpreters through an appeal in their country. The second thought was not to create babels coordinations everywhere (which would be the end of the core idea of babels) but to give those persons an insight on how it worked in Europe during the 2 first ESF so they could decide wether or not they wanted to follow up the interpreters networking experience home after the WSF, mere experimentation ground for them.

*** Political decisions of the Indian organization comity

Decisions in terms of languages (11) / number of events per day to be interpreterd / dispatching of the languages per event / languages combination / english as "pivot" language

English had to be one of the source language for « all » our interpreters ; but we also selected a few persons having english as target language not knowing if some speakers would or not speak in their own language (which was supposed not to happen except for Hindi)

**** Time and human beings

WSF took place in january 2004, two months and a half after ESF 2003. Very few people from the ESF team were ready to work on the organisation of the WSF, and no one amongst us had time to try and find people from the network who would be organizing it. And even if we had time to find them, it would have been too long and demanding a training period; not that this can only be done by "professional" coordinators but mainly because you don't enter an international pluricultural process the same way you step into the organization of a national meeting or thematic one.
2 months was also too short a time to be highly selective regarding other criterias than those described above

***** And so???

Once the specific needs for the WSF were established and put on the paper, we split the selection work in two (two human beings behind the machine) regarding the european languages (Spanish one side / french the other side - with english as a source language whenever) and let the indian/korean/japanese work out their selection with the same information and organization worksheet (basically, a table with names, languages, countries, travel informations...).

We pre-selected from the WSF mailing list (people who subscribed to the WSF babels list during 2003 ) professionals with required languages and sent them a first mail (november 2003). Then, according to the answers and time left we expanded the answers to the experienced interpreters with same languages combinations. that's it. We finally got our whole team by the 2nd of january, 2 days before our arrival in Mumbai (as part of babels interpreters coordination team... because nomad was already there).

Now, maybe a few thoughts on how to proceed, including information on other things than single selection, if I can share the experience of more than one event which I had to organize :

1 - "Professional and non professional" interpreters is the right formula, but this combination needs more than the human energy and good will to work fine : It needs :
- A guidebook on how to behave and work in a booth dedicated to non experienced interpreters (and even experienced ones), and written by professional interpreters : What is a mike ? How to work with someone in the booth ? keep silent or go out if you want to talk ! how to put the headphone ? how to interact with the speakers if something goes wrong ? Just a few pages of useful basic information to be sent before hand to all. It would be a bible.

- In all cases, some persons must be the reference persons, the booths responsibles, the referees, the almighty powerful trees rooted into the concrete. Some people whose role is to reassure, help, see how it goes and knows how to act. He/she/they might be professionnal interpreter or experienced / good at handling situations involving more than one person. It can seem quite difficult to achieve, but the best would be "No election but a matter of confidence and respect" for those who want to handle it.

2 - Motivations are not to be questioned. If people want to take holidays through babels, so be it. If they are long time activists, so be it. If they want to practice interpreting; so be it. We should not forget that there is not one way to political "activism" but many. We have seen holiday campers doing quite a good job in booths and coming back for other purposes than taking the plane. Babels is an experimentation space as well as a network of interpreters interacting with the social forum process. the idea is to start trusting people (another world is possible) and give them enough hints to be sure they can handle the interpretation in a booth. It needs more work from those who know how it works, to be shared with those who don't know. On 1000 people during the ESF, we had our share of all categories (holiday campers, experienced politically involved human beings, professional and non-professionnal pains in the ass and so on...) A transformation occured during the ESF process. Some will never come back, some will come back for other reasons (both ways :" I was an activist but now I know it's a good holiday trip" works as well as " I took a holiday but now I know I want be an activist" ), some wiant to get involved more, some think social forum is bullshit… A lot of people stayed in India after the WSF because they got their ticket paid. And they all did a good job in Mumbai. So ?

Of course, a few things need be avoided as we are not a travel agency : if an interpreter wants to come whith his/her mate, no problem but it’s his/her organisation problem (hotel, plane, everything) / interpreters have an obligation during the forum : to work within the frame of their schedule (which can be adapted if constraints happen)…

I have a few other things to write about our experiences selecting interpreters for events but that will wait a few days...

Have a nice evening



Postby Nathan » Fri Aug 27, 2004 4:31 pm

Hello from Toronto. Congratulations to the Babels team for being so organized about this. I suppose you have to be for such a massive undertaking.

My training is as a simultaneous and consecutive interpreter in English, French and Spanish. I have worked as a simultaneous interpreter for a few years now and have done a fair bit of consecutive for political meetings. I have also done a lot of written translation between French and English and from Spanish to English. I have a good knowledge of Italian as well.

I have always wanted to attend and help out at a Social Forum, but have not been able to. I did work at the big "one year after Seattle" meeting in Paris in late 2000. I have a couple comments and questions.

Maybe I'm a bit old-fashioned, but I think consecutive interpretation is like an art form. When it is done well, those listening get more out of it than from simultaneous or whispering. It is also very satisfying and even enjoyable for the interpreter. Of course, it requires more time and you can only do it into one language. But if the main "relay" language is, for example, English and the original language is one most of the interpreters don't understand anyway -- which I'm assuming was often the case in Mumbai -- it effectively gives the other interpreters (and the audience) a new and "clean" source to work from.

People have mentioned a ranking system for the interpreters. But I'm not sure if there has been any discussion about ranking the meetings being interpreted. I imagine organizers have some idea of which meetings will have the most in attendance and which are pivotal to the overall dynamic coming out of the event. I know this is a tough question, especially in keeping with the WSF's mandate and spirit. But it would help in determining the precise mix of experienced and inexperienced interpreters and the type of interpretation (simultaneous-consecutive-whispering) needed. How has this been handled in previous meets?

Like I said, I have a pretty good working knowledge of Italian. But I didn't include it in my list of languages because my level of skill from Italian would be lower than the "professional" and "experienced" I checked off for English-French-Spanish. How can I get around this problem?

On a practical note, will interpreters and translators have access to the Internet and to sets of on-site dictionaries, vocabulary lists and document sets? I'm sure we would all rather not have to lug this stuff around the planet on the way to and from Porto Alegre!

Finally, with respect to travel plans, if we are unable to get cheap fares right into Porto Alegre, what are the next best places to arrive at? Buenos Aires, Montevideo, Sao Paulo? I'm assuming each of these places will have large delegations making the trip with whom we could hitch a ride. Am I right?

Best wishes and solidarity from Canada.


Postby laurent » Wed Sep 01, 2004 12:00 pm


Meetings just happened in POA and Sao Paulo with people from Babels in Latin America and from Nomad (he technical project). At the same time on the topic of selection informal discussions occured with organisations of the IC and of the BOC which held meetings in SP, and people from the secretariats in Porto Alegre and Sao Paulo (the WSF has 2 offices)

A workgroup is currently trying to write and syntesis of the debates held in the forum (the ne in spanish and this one in english) and a practical methodology for the selection process to start now. You'll receive this email when ready.

The intention is to try to express the consensus which can be drawn from these discussions and to make it a practical way of work. We hope that we will achieve this.

Normaly next week then you will receive a clear and transparent proposal of a methodolgy that we intend to use


Postby wsf2005 » Mon Sep 13, 2004 3:35 pm

A group of persons Bettina (POA), Julia (SP), Graziella (SP), Pascal (Rio), Monica (Bogotá), Daniela, Gaston, Juan Carlos and Virginia (Montevideo) and Laurent (Paris) had the opportunity to meet physically at the end of August to discuss the results and the ideas of the Babels forum launched in July around selecting volunteers interpreters for POA, as well as sharing experience from the recent Forum social de las Americas. At the same time, we participated in different meetings: Content and Methodology workgroup of the International Council, Translation workgroup of the Brazilian Organizing Committee, WSF Youth Camp coordination, WSF offices of Porto Alegre and Sao Paulo.


After these meetings the program is now divided in 11 thematic areas (the areas were determined by a totally open consultation process ending in July to which 1,800 organizations worldwide participated). Each thematic area will have a set of rooms equipped for translation: 1 big room (for around 600 or more people), 1 medium room (for around 200 people), and 8 small rooms (for around 100 people). If this nomenclature of rooms is confirmed, we propose 2 languages per small room, 3 per medium room, 5 per big room.

We have to deal with a main difficulty, which is the total number of volunteers: more than 1000! For this we will aim at scheduling your work according to thematic area and to given rooms. Like this as soon as possible you’ll be able to be in contact with the people you’ll be working with. Our goal is to build teams coordinated but with sufficient autonomy to be able to cope with difficulties as they come. But this will come later.

For the moment our deadline is around November 15: All the WSF projects – translation, solidarity economy, free-software, youth camp, architecture and venue, program and content and so on – will meet in Porto Alegre to assess all together the different issues still pending and the decisions to be taken.


1- Start of the selection process (people involved in this will receive emails soon - See below to know who)
2- Start of a worldwide process of small informal meetings between volunteers wherever possible (an email will be sent to some of you in order to ask you if you are interested in coordinating these meetings)

3- Selection process and meetings continue (September processes)
4- First travels are organized for selected people

5- October processes continue
6- Accommodation is starting to be organized in POA for those who are confirmed and whose travel is organized.
7- We will ask the selected volunteers then to choose one thematic area in order to prepare and to be in contact with all the others who will be working in the same thematic area. At this stage, these themes need to be confirmed by the November POA meetings.

For the November POA meetings (November15) our aim is to select 600-800 people at a minimum: around 200 for each of the main languages: ES, EN, FR, PT. The question of languages is still an open one and a difficult one, not so much politically but as it is linked with the equipment (Nomad project). A workgroup should start working in September (you will receive information) around this issue in order to make final decisions in November.

A short list of 15 languages is proposed now: the 4 usual ones, 2 more from Africa, 3 more from Asia, 2 more for Middle East, 2 more from Europe, 2 more from the Americas (Amerindian languages). Depending on the technical part of the translation project, it could be more likely that we will have around 10 languages for this WSF which presence will be really visible and useful.


Several new ideas emerged from Babels’ forum and some others were confirmed. The main purpose of this proposal is to develop quality of interpreting during the WSF, while allowing people to participate. The "quality" issue is a main one and can be characterized by three main ideas developed in the Forum:
1- Interpreting techniques
2- Sympathy or empathy toward the Social Forums ideas and knowledge on issues debated
3- Will to learn

The selection process will take into account primarily:
1) Professional or experienced interpreters who participated in the ESF2003 and WSF2004 or FSA2004.
2) New volunteers with less experience from cities next to POA, where mobilization is already strong: Sao Paulo, Montevideo, POA, and maybe Rio.
3) Professional interpreters from Uruguay, Argentina and Brazil.
4) Interpreters with experience, who are already involved in the Social Forum processes or with organizations working in this region.

5) Professional or experienced interpreters from different locations, depending on the budget
6) Some of the different persons short listed by the different meetings (see our calendar above point 2)

In November, we will re-evaluate the process and adjust it. A special emphasis will be given for this WSF to the Americas as far as the location of the volunteers.

We hope to see you soon in POA.

Ivy Shiue

Postby Ivy Shiue » Tue Sep 14, 2004 6:48 am

Hi, guys,
I guess I don't it whole very clear. I think we haven't been selected right? Will it be in later times? Other, what should we do before the forum? is there any infomation or lectures we need to read firsthand?

If possible, plz email me with leaderivy@msn.com

Thank you very much.

Ivy Shiue

Marcia C Redding

Postby Marcia C Redding » Wed Sep 15, 2004 3:15 pm

Going to Porto Alegre or not going to Porto Alegre... This is not the question!!! Although I really would love to. The most important aspect of this event is the possibility of sharing my experience with other people and learn from them.

Let's also not forget that we're living difficult times and putting people (interested in being "agentes de transformacion" in the world is already a wonderful achievement.

Let's be interpreters of new ideas.

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