An open volunteer-based project to translate OpenIDEO and take it beyond the English speaking world. (UPDATED!)
This project might represent a lot of work, but we've seen many successes over the Web as volunteers help sites go global.
For example, the
TED Open Translation Project brought TEDTalks beyond the English-speaking world by offering subtitles, time-coded transcripts and the ability for any talk to be translated by volunteers worldwide. The project launched with 300 translations in 40 languages, and 200 volunteer translators. Now it reached more than 6000 translators, with over 21k translations in 81 languages.
What if we did the same with OpenIDEO?
With all the tools now available on the Web (
-a site that supports collaborative translation, etc.), OpenIDEO can tap into its powerfully multilingual community to take its content (and thus the social impact) beyond the English-speaking world.
We could build a "sub-community" of volunteer OI Translators, that could help translating the main component of the website. To start small, we could target 1 or 2 of the most spoken languages worldwide (French, Spanish?), preferably with no special characters (to make it technically easier). In the long run, if the experiment works, we could unfold this to more languages.
The project would require a person from OpenIDEO identifying the elements to translate (especially the recurring ones). There should be some sort of a participatory system for people to translate.
For example, I have contributed to translating the mobile Ushahidi platform into French. All what the Ushahidi people did was creating a
with the terms / phrases in English they needed to be translated. They sent the link with a shout-out on Twitter. And people were able to add their translations in the Google Docs. I believe it was pretty successful (and fast).
Let's see how it works
I am conducting a little experiment to
(1) identify recurrent terms and phrases on the OI website (things like "Add your concept" "Add your inspiration", instead of a full challenge brief), then (2) put them on a Google Doc table and (3) share it on OI for people to enter their translations. I was thinking five languages, and about a 100+ items to translate. You can check the progress here: http://bit.ly/pblXum
The objectives of this prototype are to:
- Validate the main underlying hypothesis in this concept: that OI can count on the volunteer efforts of the community to translate the platform.
- Test what languages that we can reasonably target via the community.