Did you know there are over 50,000 translations in 104 languages on TED.com? No one person could do it alone. In fact, it is the work of a passionate, nimble army of volunteers — 15,000 and counting — from around the globe. Of the many TED ecosystems at TEDActive, translators of The Open Translation Project are truly one of the most vibrant and active communities represented.
Yesterday, 24 OTP translators met at the Whistler Convention Center to talk about their work, the intricacies of translation, improving on tools and creating even more impact. The day began with each person telling the story of how they found TED and fell in love with translating (not necessarily in that order). Whether the spark to translate was ad-libbing a video for a daughter, or educating the Kazakhstan youth about new media — the common thread was always the need to understand and connect and help others to do so also.
For the next part of the workshop, Deron Triff and Janet Lee of TED’s distribution team showed off how impactful the Open Translation Project has been in helping to spread ideas. They shared the latest distribution projects and the reach of each. Then TED’s product development director Thaniya Keereepart stopped by to speak about the new TED.com redesign and how its evolution — from new profiles to crediting systems — would benefit and encourage the translation community and highlight their hard work.
During the week, there will be a Translators’ Lounge set up with Skype stations where you can record video comments about a talk as they are happening on stage. The inspiration, explained OTP designer-at-large Bryant Yeh, was a rejected European Union flag designed by Dutch architect Rem Koolhaas and his architecture firm to symbolize the unity and diversity of the EU (below). Yeh pointed out the parallels between the colorful barcode-like flag and the translators’ gathering: “This flag is basic on different levels and yet also familiar. All flags together as one, creating a feeling of union, community and togetherness.”
And as the cherry on top of this community gathering, Dick Lundgren and Per Klemming (you may know them from their Grizz and Klemmingway column), brought warm and cozy hats — ones that “symbolize the new world” — for all of the translators to wear.
Pictured above: Ivan Stamenković, Akinori Oyama, Gustavo dos Santos Rocha, Ido Dekkers, Olga Dmitrochenkova, Matej Divjak, (Geoffrey) Chun-Fung Chen, Askhat Yerkimbay, Keumseong Bang, Mile Zivkovic, Jaime Andres Ochoa, Johanne Benoit-Gallagher, Wan-ting (Adrienne) Lin, Agata Leśnicka, Hugo Wagner, Shadia Ramsahye, Palash Ranjan Sanyal, Bryant Yeh, Sassja Jangard, Matti Jääaro, Per Klemming, Dick Lundgren, and the amazing OTP team: Kristin Windbigler (director), Jenny Zurawell (translation operations manager), Krystian Aparta (localization community manager), Helene Batt (OTP coordinator)