Spotlight on Translation

Spotlight on OTW Translation – 140 translators translated over 1,500,000 words in 2,000 documents and 22 languages so far

Why is Translation an important part of the OTW?

Our role in the OTW is to bring official content from the OTW’s projects and committees to fans worldwide. We translate news posts, help pages, site content, emails and comments so that people who don’t speak English can have access to all the work that the rest of the OTW does.

The OTW is made up of over 500 volunteers from all over the world working in various committees—by necessity, in order to get us all working together, a lot of the OTW’s day-to-day work and output is in English. Translation’s job is to stay in touch with committees that publish content so that we can get the word out in several other languages, too.

(We don’t translate fanworks, by the way! Major kudos to everyone who does, but translation-wise, we have our hands full with official OTW content, including AO3 FAQs and news.)

How many languages can you translate into? How many of you are there?

22 languages—Arabic, Catalan, Chinese, Czech, Danish, Dutch, Finnish, French, German, Hebrew, Hungarian, Indonesian, Italian, Kiswahili, Korean, Polish, Brazilian Portuguese, European Portuguese, Russian, Spanish, Swedish, and Turkish.

We’re 147 volunteers, counting both translators and staff coordinators—translators work in language teams of various sizes, from the huge 17-person German team to our newest team, Kiswahili, with only one translator so far!

What is your favorite part of the work in the Translation committee?

We translate a lot of different things, and we are a very diverse group, so everyone has their own favorites, but a lot of us really like the immediate reward of helping users directly by collaborating with the Abuse and Support teams and answering comments in news posts.

One of the best things about working in Translation is that it’s a very fun and lively group, too—with such a huge team, we have just about every fandom and interest covered, so you’re just as likely to find people discussing knitting as pole-dancing in our chatrooms, from having feelings about the latest One Piece to meltdowns over Faking It. In our midst we have ficwriters, fanartists, podficcers, fan video makers, fansubbers, gif makers, reccers, meta writers, challenge moderators, and more! (We also talk about translation occasionally.)

If I were interested in the Translation committee, how could I get involved?

Get in touch with us! We’re always happy to hear from potential new translators. If you’d like to know more about how we work, you can also check out our page on the OTW website.

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