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 Home > Event-related > World Social Forum > World Social Forum 2005 > Call

[ en es fr pt ]

Call for voluntary interpreters, translators and technicians

(Date: 1 July 2004)

“Another world is possible”
World Social Forum 2005
Porto Alegre (Brazil) – January 26-31, 2005

Call for voluntary interpreters, translators and technicians

Babels - Looking for volunteer (simultaneous)
interpreters and translators.
Nomad – Looking for volunteers for the interpreting equipment.

For its fifth year, the WSF, in conjunction with the Youth Camp,
has chosen a more inclusive and participatory approach to the drafting of the
program and the organization of the venue. The WSF aims at increasing
participation and interaction, not only through speeches and the sharing of
ideas, but also with the way the forum itself will be run. Volunteer work is a
key component of this evolution, which will integrate cultural events,
environment-friendly architecture, fair trade practices, etc.

Approximately 1,400 volunteers will be needed during the WSF5
to provide simultaneous interpretation, written translation and technical

You are invited to join a dynamic group of activists
coordinating the human and technical aspects of this work, coordinated by the
WSF Organization Committee. By interpreting the WSF debates, you will be making
it possible for more than 100,000 people to participate actively in the WSF,
regardless of their knowledge of foreign languages. Volunteering during the WSF
requires you to be available for a minimum of 7 days: from January 24th
to 31st (end of the event). We wish to
encourage the participation of local volunteers. However, depending on the
budget that will be shared by all, we will be able to cover round-trip travel
costs to Porto Alegre. Accommodation will also be provided, preferably in
private homes thanks to the hospitality of the city’s inhabitants. Food will be
provided to all the volunteers, if the budget allows, through vouchers for the
WSF food stalls.

The WSF will be held within the city-limits of
Porto Alegre, reshaping some of its streets, squares, docks and parks, turning
into reality some of the alternatives we are proposing for another world. The
WSF will be declared a brand-free area: Pepsi, Coca-Cola, Microsoft, and other
proprietary brands usually omnipresent in international gatherings will be
barred from the WSF venues. By developing “self-organized” activities in Porto
Alegre during the months of preparatory work leading to the WSF, proposals from
various social movements and organizations will be collected to create events.
At least 200 rooms of various sizes capable of holding 50 to 1,000 people will
be built around some 20 barrios (town areas). At least half of these rooms will
be equipped with translation facilities. You can start volunteering for the WSF
either through Babels or Nomad depending on your availabilities, wishes and area
of expertise.

We are proposing to you to participate in one of the most daring
experiences ever since the creation of the first Social Forum. Your help is
essential, before the WSF or during the WSF.

More information on the WSF: Official website
This internal Babels-Nomad call aims at reinforcing the call soon to be issued
by the WSF Organization Committee.

Reclaiming communication practices and techniques

This call for volunteers is not only to offer a translation
service for the WSF, it is also to support the development of open and
democratic communication practices and techniques on a global level.


We are calling for volunteer interpreters (simultaneous
translation), be they professional or non-professional. The WSF used to be in 4
languages: English, French, Spanish, and Portuguese. The WSF5 will include more
languages: African, Amerindian, and Asian languages, as well as other European
languages. All the events will probably be accessible in at least 2 of the main
languages, with the other languages taking turns in the different conference

We are calling for volunteer translators (written
translation). The WSF5 process will be starting very soon with international
discussions on the themes for the program and global participatory work on
building events for the WSF itself. Obviously, this process will need to be
facilitated by translators. This work will be done solely through email,
whenever you have the time. For instance, the letter explaining the program
methodology has already been translated in 14 languages: Arabic, Chinese,
English, French, Hindi, Japanese, Korean, Portuguese, Quechua, Russian, Spanish,
Swahili, Telugu and Thai.

Please register at
 Click fsm-wsf 2005 (interpreters) and/or transtrad (translators). If
you are already registered, please update your file.

We are calling for volunteer contacts and coordinators
. In
order to mobilize everywhere in the world (especially in the Buenos Aires
(Argentina)-Montevideo (Uruguay)-Rio de Janeiro (Brazil) area, as well as
throughout the Americas), in order to help hundreds of volunteers work during
the WSF, we need help to forward this call, to get in touch with more volunteers,
and to help non-professionals to cope with interpreting techniques.

Contacts, coordinators and/or more information
: – Brazil: + -

If no contact yet exists in your area, do not hesitate to email


Within the WSF framework, Nomad proposes alternative techniques
to equip conference rooms for simultaneous translation. There are two main
components in the Nomad projects: voice transmission in conference rooms, and
digitalization of the voice signals. Nomad wishes to develop various solutions
to cope with the different conference situations, but also to teach how the
technology works to enable people to use it in other situations. Everything will
be developed in the “open-software spirit”: collaborative work and shared
knowledge. Nomad seeks to develop and promote techniques in all walks of life.
It is an effort to consolidate scattered knowledge and put it in the public

We are calling for volunteers during the WSF. We will need
help to prepare the rooms for translation, to manage the different systems
during the event, to help with the archiving and indexing of the conferences in
all the languages and to manage computer data. (We are looking mainly for people
from the Porto Alegre area or people who will be attending the WSF)

We are calling for volunteers before the WSF: to share
experiences and different existing technical solutions and to help build the
different systems.
 FM radio transmitters
 Audio equipment (mixing tables, cabling…)
 Magnetic loops (electro-magnetic transmission with “copper circles”)
 Software and computers (C language under Linux / Interface development with
GUI / All experience in digitalized sound processing)

Register and interact:
: Send an empty mail to and ask questions or send information
More information

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