Open Translation Tools

Aspiration is a leading advocate for Open Translation, a nascent field of practice emerging at the crossroads of three dynamic movements of the information and internet eras: Open Content, Free/Libre/Open Source Software (FLOSS), and Open/Peer Production.

Open Translation is the set of practices and work processes for translating and maintaining open content using FLOSS tools, and leveraging the internet to make that content and those tools available to the largest number of authors, translators and readers.

All of the assets listed below are outcomes from Aspiration's two global convenings for the Open Translation community, Open Translation Tools 2009 (OTT09), which took place in Amsterdam, The Netherlands, and Open Translation Tools 2007 (OTT07), which took place in Zagreb, Croatia. More information on those events is provided below.

The Open Translation Tools project recently got some excellent mention on the Australian radio show FutureTense.

Resources to Document the Open Translation Movement

There is a diverse set of Open Translation software that supports or performs language translation, but relatively little has been written about these disruptive tools to date. Aspiration maintains a range of resources to document Open Translation tools, concepts and community leaders. These include:

Convenings to Connect the Open Translation Movement

Aspiration believes passionately in the power of live events for building community and connecting stakeholders. We have been a leader in the Open Translation field, organizing two global events where practitioners could come together, share knowledge, and assess the state of the field:

  • OTT09: Aspiration was delighted to organize Open Translation Tools 2009 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". Both events were co-organized in partnership with and, 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. 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. Learn more...
  • OTT07: Aspiration designed and hosted the first-ever “Open Translation Tools Convergence” in late 2007. 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. 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. Learn more...


p>For more information about our Open Translation program, contact us at