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What is Transtrad, What is it for, How does it work, How to participate
(Date: 20 August 2004)
* Brief history:
Transtrad is a network of translators that works autonomously within the Babels network – an international network of volunteer interpreters and translators that was created alongside the social forums, from Florence (2002 ESF) to Mumbai (2004 WSF), including the 2003 ESF in Paris or antiglobalization meetings like the one that took place last summer in the Larzac (France). Transtrad was created during summer 2003 along with the preparation of the 2003 ESF, in order to translate preparatory documents to the organization of the forum. And for the first time, a physical group of translators (about 30) were on the place of the forum (Paris-La Villette site), ready to work in the heat of the moment… even though they eventually didn’t get any document to translate because the organizing committee didn’t send any during the forum, and that’s how translators ended in the boots next to interpreters!
But this experience must not be seen as a failure, for it allowed to think more about the specific role of Babels translators within the process of the social forums – preparation before the forum, day-to-day participation when the event is actually going on and restitution work afterwards.
* How does Transtrad work?
Transtrad leads its own, autonomous way within the global Babels network. We take decisions for ourselves and participate to collective decisions with other Babels volunteers, whether these decisions concern an event or another kind of project.
As for carrying out the actual translation projects, the work is shared between two types of role playing:
translators register in the Transtrad database, respond (or not) to the translation proposals and translate (!). THEY are the basis of the network and its reason for existing. Now, a little more than 3900 translators have been registered.
other volunteers facilitate the various projects, that is they organize the process: sharing documents between translators, following the translation work under way and every stage till the handing out of the completed project.
* Get involved!
Participate as a translator:
Just register yourself on the Babels website precising your source and target languages (A: Mother tongue, B: passive and active foreign language, C: passive foreing language) as well as your level (beginner, experienced, professional), and you will then be e-mailed by Transtrad when your language couples match the demands of one project. Then if you answer positively, you will be sent the document(s) to translate.
In most cases documents are assigned to the first translator to answer – till we find a better way… In some cases, professional and/or experienced translators may be requested to proofread translated documents. If you receive nothing, never, this is probably that your languages don’t match the demands (eg. if you translate Chinese to Russian) – sorry for that, but we keep hoping to involve most of you by carrying through projects in more various languages.
You are also invited to discuss and make decisions together.
Participate as a facilitator:
If you wish to commit yourself further and you have a good internet connection, join us! You will be in charge of leading the projects from start to end, i.e. from defining the work till the handing out and its publication.
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