Every month or so the OTW will be doing a Q&A with one of its volunteers about their experiences in the organization. The posts express each volunteer’s personal views and do not necessarily reflect the views of the OTW or constitute OTW policy. Today’s post is with Neru, who volunteers as a translator.
How does what you do as a volunteer fit into what the OTW does?
As a volunteer translator and beta reader, I translate the OTW’s content from English to my native language, which is Hungarian; I also proofread my teammates’ translations. I translate everything from an Open Doors import announcement to the OTW’s Terms of Service. I feel that my work fits into the OTW’s vision perfectly, since I’m helping fellow fannish people access content they might not be able to access due to a language barrier. I’m helping to build the bridges between communities that may not have had the opportunity to meet before. This sounds very cheesy, but that’s basically what my work helps achieve, at least in my opinion.
What is a typical week like for you as a volunteer?
My week is usually quite chill: depending on when I received a translation or beta task to do, I usually translate or beta read in my free time. I’m also on the news roster, which means that I help with news posts as well. This time of the year is pretty busy in that respect, since we have the International Fanworks Day (IFD) that we translate the posts for. This usually means an extra hour or two added to my work. Besides these two, I also help out with uploading the finished content to its destination, so to AO3 for example, or the OTW’s website. This usually adds a few more hours to my workload, but it’s completely manageable since the regular uploading I can spread out throughout the month, and it’s good to take one last final look at the texts.
What sorts of news content have you worked on?
I have worked on everything that there was to offer! Well, not exactly, we, as in my language team’s news translators, don’t translate the newsletter (just yet). We do translate Open Doors announcements, International Fanworks Day posts, Drive posts, and Elections content. Last year, we translated the abbreviated version of the OTW’s Strategic Plan and the OTW’s budget, which were quite the tasks, since I personally am not familiar with the managerial and financial vocabulary these texts required. It was fun looking up the terms though! That’s what I like the most about translating, it broadens my knowledge at every turn.
What’s the most fun thing to you about volunteering for the OTW?
Well, as I have mentioned above, I love that I can learn about so many new things through translation. Legal, managerial, financial, and all sorts of other specialized vocabulary that I never thought I’d have to look for before. I also love the challenge translation poses, that I have to adapt a text that’s rooted in a totally different culture than my own, and I have to make it understandable in my own cultural terms. Keeps me on my toes!
Another aspect I absolutely love about volunteering here is the community. I have got to know so many wonderful people through volunteering for the OTW that brought so many new perspectives into my life, and changed me for the better. I love the awesome community we have. We can talk about literally anything our hearts desire. We can have an hours-long debate about how often you should change your bedsheets! These debates never feel like arguments: to me, they are more like opening windows into different cultures, and getting to see how other people live. Frankly, besides the fact that I love doing what I do, I also love the place I’m at.
What fannish things do you like to do?
I’m more of a consumer than a producer. My fandom tastes vary, but I would say, currently I’m most obsessed with Yuri!!! On Ice and Captive Prince. I do like to write from time to time, though I don’t think of myself as a great author or anything. Besides that, I sometimes do podfics from my friend’s fanfiction, though these really are just for personal entertainment rather than for sharing with the World Wide Web.
Now that our volunteer’s said five things about what they do, it’s your turn to ask one more thing! Feel free to ask about their work in comments. Or if you’d like, you can check out earlier Five Things posts.