Open Translation Tools 2009

Event Date(s): 
June 22, 2009 to June 24, 2009

Aspiration was delighted to organize Open Translation Tools 2009 (OTT09), in Amsterdam, The Netherlands, from 22-24 June, 2009. The event was followed by an Open Translation "Book Sprint" which produced a first-of-its-kind volume on tools and best practices in the field of Open Translation, "Open Translation Tools".

Also see blog coverage from participants, including Ethan Zuckerman (OTT09 and Book Sprint), David Sasaki, TAUS, Engage Media, and Philippe Lacour.

Both events were co-organized in partnership with FLOSSManuals.net and Translate.org.za, and generously supported by the Open Society Institute and the Ford Foundation.

Agenda partners for the event included Creative Commons, Global Voices Online, WorldWide Lexicon, Meedan, and DotSUB.

OTT09 built upon the work and collaboration from Open Translation Tools 2007 (OTT07; see paper, video, and toolbox). The event convened stakeholders in the field of open content translation to assess the state of software tools that support translation of content that is licensed under free or open content licenses such as Creative Commons or Free Document License. The event served to map out what’s available, what’s missing, who’s doing what, and to recommend strategic next steps to address those needs, with a particular focus on delivering value to open education, open knowledge, and human rights blogging communities.

Primary focus was placed on supporting and enabling distributed human translation of content, but the role of machine translation was also considered. “Open content” encompassed a range of resource types, from educational materials to books to manuals to documents to blog content to video and multimedia.

The agenda goals of the 2009 event were several:

  • Address the Translation Challenges Faced by the Open Education, Open Content, and human rights blogging communities, and mapping requirements to available open solutions.
  • Build on the vision and exploring new use cases for the Global Voices Lingua Translation Exchange
  • Document the state of the art in distributed human translation, and discussing how to further tap the tremendous translation potential of the net
  • Make tools talk better: realizing a standards-driven approach to open translation
  • Explore and sketch out Open Translation API Designs, building on existing work and models
  • Document workflow requirements for missing open translation tools
  • Match-make between open source tools and open content projects
  • Map of available tools to open translation use cases

See the Agenda Overview for elaboration and more details about what transpired.

Most importantly, the agenda centered on the needs and knowledge of the participating projects, structuring sessions and collaborations to focus on designing appropriate processes and selecting appropriate tools to support open content projects and inform further development of open source translation tools.

In addition, OTT09 continued the knowledge sharing for the open translation community, and continue discussion on other identified needs from OTT07. The agenda for this event was greatly informed by open education, open content and human rights blogging projects with specific translation needs, and a number of sessions were structured to both characterize requirements and propose solutions to respective projects' translation requirements.

OTT07 mapped out a hefty list of Open Translation Tools. Participants at OTT09 surveyed what has change over the past 18 months, and assessed the most pressing remaining gaps.

See OTT09 Accommodations Information for a list of hotels and other resources near the venue.

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