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[ox-en] open translation?


Since the topic of translation of the German documents comes up every so often on the list, I've been wondering how to apply the ideas of free software organization and peer-to-peer directly to the problem of translation.

For example, would it be possible to have a system (such as a site specializing in translation where different projects could post, or a way of cataloguing material on different websites) where people who had texts they needed to translate could give information on what subject matter the texts are in, which language it's being translated from and to, which items have higher priority, and so on; so that somebody interested in translating could search through many different projects and find one on a subject that is interesting to them?

I've come across a few other open projects that say they are looking for translators, for example:
Creative Commons
Piecepack (on the bottom of the page)
Maybe it would help to pool the texts so that translators could find them more easily.

Graham Seaman <graham> wrote:

I think the basic problem is that the German/English speakers don't have
the motivation (more interesting to write new things than translate old
ones) and the monolingual people don't have the skills (well, doh).

I agree: it's not an efficient division of labor for the people who are highly involved in a project to do the translations.  What would be better for that is people who are primarily interested in languages, but are also somewhat interested in the subject matter.

'milestones' text is basically finished, just waiting for Stefan Merten to
go over it. The other texts in the translation section of seem to have stalled.

Another use of such a system would be to direct translators towards texts where activity has fallen off.

Any ideas on how we might
maybe find people from outside the list with the necessary language

Since many free software developers are also professional programmers, perhaps the people interested in and skilled enough to translate would be people whose jobs involved translation (such as teaching foreign languages, or interpreting).

Chris, do you knowhow the translations from German work on - > is it all dependent on individuals doing whole books each?
Would either putting more texts on opentheory or publicising the 
subversion server help?

I've come across a few other open texts where some translation has been done:
Wikipedia - some of the non-English versions are very large, but I don't know how many of the articles are translated or independently written
Creative Commons comics (Finnish and Japanese)
The Anarchist FAQ

My guess is that this is a bit like software - hard to get a project
going from nothing with a lot of participants, much easier if 
there is
something visible already done to build on, which means usually an
individual doing a lot of hard work first. I guess that should be me.
Mutters lame excuse about lack of time... :-( 

Another reason for linking different translation projects is so that new projects could "build on" more established ones (and translators could move to new projects when old ones are done).



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