A Little Background
Inspired by a workshop on Global Voices and language at the Global Voices 2006 Summit in Delhi, India, a group of francophone bloggers approached founders Ethan Zuckerman, Rebecca MacKinnon and Taiwanese contributor Portnoy about starting a Francophone GV page similar to Portnoy's pioneering Global Voices in Chinese site. Other language communities expressed interest, and Lingua was born.
Languages reflect the momentum in their community of speakers. Lingua volunteer translators receive front page, top of the page credit for their work and can gain valuable exposure or build translator portfolios that way. Mostly, Lingua translators are helping bridge worlds and amplify voices. Join us by completing an application form or contact the site managers at one of the projects above, otherwise use the contact form below to email the various site editors. For adding new languages, send us your request!
Frequently Asked Questions
- What is Global Voices and what is Lingua?
- Why should I become a volunteer translator?
- I would like to become a volunteer translator, what should I do?
- I am not a professional translator. Can I still apply to volunteer?
- What happens after I apply to become a volunteer translator?
- Can I choose the posts I want to translate?
- Where can I find help if I have a tech or translation related question?
- What happens if I make a mistake in my translation?
- Is there a minimum commitment to be a volunteer? What about deadlines?
- Do you offer payment for translations?
- Why translate ourselves, when people can use Google Translate?
- I am a translation student. Do you offer internships?
- So Global Voices collaborators never meet face to face? How do you work remotely?
- Are you only looking for translators from English?
- Are you also looking for volunteers to cover the blogosphere in other languages?
- Are there any other ways to get involved?
Your question is not there? Please contact us!
What is Global Voices and what is Lingua?
Global Voices Online is a border-less, largely volunteer community of more than 1200 writers, analysts, online media experts and translators. Global Voices has been leading the conversation on citizen media reporting since 2005; curating, verifying and translating trending news and stories you might be missing on the Internet, from blogs, independent press and social media in 167 countries. We are a polyglot community of people who collaborate on a range of projects including Rising Voices, Global Voices Advocacy, and Lingua.
These stories we accurately report on Global Voices are translated into up to 35 languages. Major languages, as Chinese, Spanish, and Arabic, as well as minority languages such as Malagasy, Català and Aymara. Global Voices in these languages, which is the result of the work of hundreds of volunteer translators, is the Lingua Project.
Why should I become a volunteer translator?
Well, see how some of the Global Voices translators answer this question!
“I’m a volunteer translator because I think it’s very important to convey people’s voices in a way and a language each one can understand.”, says Gabriela Garcia Calderon Orbe who joined Global Voices in Spanish in November 2007 and has since translated over 2,680 posts.
“Because I will get to know social media like I have never known it before and also get to meet, through translating Global Voices articles, wonderful people from all over the world, who are as crazy as I am for changes and who are striving for it digitally,” says Thalia Rahme, from Beirut, a volunteer of Global Voices in Arabic and French.
“I like the idea of being able to inform others about what's happening in the remotest, often forgotten locales, thus helping weave ties between people living in the four corners of the world”, says Paris based French translator Samantha Deman.
“Because I learn so much about the world with Global Voices that I want to share this knowledge with those who are not fortunate enough to read it in English,” says Paula Góes, a Brazilian translator based in London who joined Global Voices in Portuguese team in 2007.
“Because it's a truly multicultural experience. Inspiring people write news stories from all around the world – I want to help to make their voice sound loud!” says Kasia Odrozek, a Polish translator based in Berlin who joined Global Voices in Polish team in 2011.
“Because you can help the message reach the people”, says Aygun Janmammadova, a translator from Global Voices in Russian.
“Because I want local voices to be heard globally,” says Maria Waldvogel, who joined the Global Voices in German team in February 2011.
“Volunteering translation for the GV feels like willingly opening new windows to the world and its million realities.”, says Anna Kokkinidou, a translator for Global Voices in Greek.
Besides getting involved in a very rewarding volunteer work, Lingua translators receive top of the page credit for their work and can gain valuable exposure for building translator portfolios. You will be a member of our international community and get to know people from our over the world who share the same interests. Most of all: you will have fun!
I would like to become a volunteer translator, what should I do?
We will be very happy to welcome you in our team! All you need to do to start with is complete our application form to provide basic information about you. We look forward to receiving your message!
I am not a professional translator. Can I still apply to volunteer?
What happens after I apply to become a volunteer translator?
The Lingua Manager or the Lingua Editor for the target language you chose will contact you shortly. Bear with us if we didn't return to you immediately, as our Lingua Editors are volunteers as well.
Can I choose the posts I want to translate?
Yes! Translators are free to chose any posts from Global Voices in English, Global Voices Advocacy or Rising Voices websites that they would like to translate, so you can even specialise in a subject or country of your preference. You can also contact your Editor if you prefer suggestions!
Where can I find help if I have a tech or translation related question?
You can always ask your Editor, a colleague on our mailing list or the Lingua Manager. If you have a technical question about how to use our content management system, based on WordPress, you can check our Lingua Translators Guide on the wiki. Take the opportunity to have a look on other Lingua related pages.
What happens if I make a mistake in my translation?
Is there a minimum commitment to be a volunteer? What about deadlines?
You are required to translate at least once a month. Deadlines are negotiable depending on the time-sensitivity of the post, the more time-sensitive the better. In all cases communicate with your Editor and let them know if you can't something on time.
Do you offer payment for translations?
Unfortunately, no. Global Voices is a volunteer-powered project and the Lingua sites are possible thanks to the generosity of hundreds of volunteers, who donate their spare time to translate and through this work make bridges between languages and cultures. Having said that, our translators feel very rewarded in so many other ways, and most have a kind of satisfaction that no financial rewards ever give: they feel they are making a positive contribution to the world. Translators learn a lot from their work too, and many volunteer to extend this knowledge to people in their countries.
Why translate ourselves, when people can use Google Translate?
Translation machines give you a sense of what a webpage is about. However, it is not the recommendable tool for those who really want to deeper their understand of the world, learn about the beauty of other cultures and would like to understand the nuances of a different language, not to mention that these translation tools are not available in some languages, such as Bangla or Aymara. We prefer to offer our readers a translation we did with love!
I am a translation student. Do you offer internships?
Yes! We can offer you a place in our team as a translator or proofreader. However, please bear in mind that we do not have a physical office, so all work is done remotely and there might be no opportunity to meet editors face to face. If your internship work can be done remotely, please feel free to let us know what it requires from Global Voices and we will do out best to accommodate your needs. Either way, you can always join Global Voices as a volunteer!
So Global Voices collaborators never meet face to face? How do you work remotely?
Our volunteers are all over the world and this is one of most the beautiful aspects of of the project. We communicate through mailing lists and email, we share content through social network sites, we use wikis for coordinator, we hold Skype meetings – every team has its own ways to work together. However, we do meet face to face every time that the opportunity presents itself. There may be local meet ups for Global Voices volunteers who live in the same city or special meet ups when two or more GVers happen to be at the same place. Likewise, should you travel around the world, it is more than likely that you will stumble upon a GVer wherever you go.
Apart from impromptu meetings, every other year or so, Global Voices hosts its Citizen Media Summit somewhere in the world, and we take the opportunity to try to bring together as many volunteers as possible! See some photos of the time we last met, in the Philippines!.
Are you only looking for translators from English?
We also welcome translators who can translate from Spanish, French, Portuguese and Arabic, as Global Voices has begun publishing posts directly in those languages.
Are you also looking for volunteers to cover the blogosphere in other languages?
We also welcome volunteers who would like to help our editors to cover a language or a region. Do you blog from or about a region or country that is ignored by traditional media? Do you follow the “conversation” in the Internet in your own country or some other country you know well? If you would like to help us improve our coverage, please check our author application page for details about how to contribute articles summarising the activity of your country's netizens and who to contact. And yes, you can join Global Voices as both, volunteer author and translator.
Yes, there are plenty of other ways to get involved! Becoming a part of the Global Voices community either as a reader or a contributor can be a very gratifying experience. Here are some ways you can support Global Voices:
- Be part of the extended community: you can follow our Twitter feed or connect with us on Facebook.
- Share our content: when you like a post, please do recommend it to your followers using our share buttons. You can also republish it: our content are available under a Creative Commons license which means you only need to attribute and link back to us.
- Follow and embed our RSS feed on topics or countries that interests you (like “Human Rights” or “Middle East & North Africa”) directly on your website.
- Blog about us: help us to reach our goal to amplify voices by blogging about us! Please feel free to spread the word in social networks, and why not: talk about us offline too.
- Invite friends to volunteer: if you know people who would like to join us, point them to this page!
So… would you like to join our linguafabulous team of translators from all over the world? Write to us right now!
View Global Voices – Map of Lingua Translators Around the World in a larger map