Open Translation Tools 2007

Event Date(s): 
November 29, 2007 to December 1, 2007

Aspiration designed and hosted the first-ever “Open Translation Tools Convergence”. This 3-day event brought together two passionate communities: those creating open source software tools to support translating open content, and those with a need for better tools to support translation of the open content they create.

Aspiration published a paper entitled "Open Translation Tools: Disruptive Potential to Broaden Access to Knowledge", documenting learnings and outcomes from the event. In addition, a video and inventory of open translation tools were also produced.

The event took place in Zagreb, Croatia, from 29 November to 1 December 2007, and was co-organized by Aspiration and Multimedia Institute - [MI2]. Open Translation Tools 2007 was supported by the generosity of the Open Society Institute, with additional support provided by TechSoup.

The event was convened to:

  • Document the open source translation tool landscape - What's out there? And what should we create to fill the gaps?
  • Inventory “open content translation use cases” - What translation support is needed?
  • Strengthen the community of practice around open source translation tools for open content, with a particular focus on delivering value to nonprofit and non-governmental organizations (NPOs and NGOs).

The agenda was collaboratively developed by participants in the time leading up to and during the gathering. Also see additional event background.

All event proceedings were captured on the event wiki. An ongoing discussion is taking place on the event mailing list.

Overall, we followed a user-driven approach to map tools to use cases, assessing what is supported by currently available open source software tools and services, and identifying the most pressing needs. Primary focus was placed on supporting and enabling distributed human translation of content, but the role of machine translation was also considered. “Open content” encompasses a range of resource types, from books to manuals to documents to blog posts to multimedia.

The event targeted three complementary outcomes:

  • A mapping of the open source translation tool landscape, enumerating tools and tool categories as well as services, projects and resources, and assessing gaps and opportunities for development. There is currently very little in terms of a directory of translation tools for content publishers, and this event will serve to create such an inventory.
  • An inventory of “open content translation use cases”, with open content creators and publishers describing how they would like open source software tools and technologies to support their translation needs. These use cases will cover a range of tasks (“I need to translate a document into a second language”) and usage scenarios (“I need a widget for my blog that links to open content translation request services and lists available translated versions of my content”).
  • A strengthened community of practice around translation tools for open content for NPO and NGO needs. While many amazing projects are in play all around the globe, there are relatively few opportunities for practitioners in the field of open content translation to meet and collaborate as a community. Open Translation Tools 2007 will provide such a venue.

For more information, email info@aspirationtech.org or call +1.415.839.6456.