Lights, Camera, Translation!

Different Tropes for Different Folks – OTW Membership Drive October 2015

Check out the long list of languages this post is available in! Here’s the story of how they got there:

One month ago…

Membership drive content begins reaching the OTW Translation committee. This is only the beginning; it won’t stop coming until the drive starts. Getting everything finished on time in all languages is a challenge that will require extensive coordination, a huge commitment from all 170+ volunteers, and a lot of fireworks when everything’s over.

As soon as a post is written, Translation staff coordinators create a document for each language and assign it to a translator with a short deadline. Once translators finish their tasks, it will be time for betas to review each document. Everyone is exchanging countless messages discussing their translations and polling their respective language teams for opinions.

Three weeks ago…

Translators and betas are being assigned to the text that will appear on the drive graphics. Staff and volunteers will work together to make translated versions of the images in every language, adapting the graphics as needed. Language teams will double-check and approve each image at the end.

Ten days ago…

Everyone is in a madcap rush to complete all the posts and graphics in all languages. (There are lots and lots of checklists.) A few change requests from other committees have come in, meaning staff needs to note the changes on the document for each language, contact the relevant translators and betas, and track which ones have been updated. It’s a bit of a scramble, especially those few last-minute edits!

Five days ago…

It’s a wrap! The committee celebrated each team individually as they finished all the drive content, and today they’re throwing a party on chat with tons of gifs and virtual confetti. Their work isn’t quite done, though.

Earlier today…

Several Translation members are gathering to upload the translations of this post to AO3 News and the OTW website. Each will check the post in their own language one last time for mistakes, of course. (Just in case!)


We hope you enjoyed these flashbacks to how this post and its translations came together! Your support makes the OTW’s mission and projects possible. To continue empowering the work of these translators as well as hundreds of other OTW volunteers, please make a donation.


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