The Decathlon – 06/03/2010

I was doing some research this morning for a grad student that was looking to complete their practicum on a localisation project that ended up falling through – I wanted to find some other places that she could go to online.

When I was first introduced to Translation studies by Leah, I was shocked that students were being asked to translate what can only be described as irrelevant crap – random ad campaigns, vacuum cleaner manuals and the like.

It was while I was at the Pootle Locamotion project that I saw a link to something called the Decathlon project:

The Decathlon is a project that aims to help volunteer translators form new language communities and help translate opensource software into their languages. Come on, commit yourself to helping to translate just 10 programs this year.

This was the first I’d heard about this project, despite having been to the Pootle sites a number of times over the last few months.

I think this is a much more interesting opportunity for students wanting to get some practicum hours up, and it has the advantage of actually being useful to non-English speaking computer users:

The Decathlon has the following broad aims:

  • To help existing online language translation communities grow
  • To help establish new language translation communities
  • To help train amateur and professional translators in the ins and outs of software translation
  • To promote the usage of localised software in various countries
  • To empower and promote minority languages by making available useful software in those languages
  • To test and develop methods to improve language speakers’ access to software translation opportunities
  • To promote the localisation methods developed by Translate.org.za

If you know anyone that wants to donate their time as a translator, I would highly recommend the Decathlon project as worthy – I personally use VLC and Filezilla on all of my computers and regularly recommend them to friends as the best software available for what they do, FreeMind is what I wrote my first Translation and technology lecture in, and WordPress is almost synonymous with blogging these days – for these to be available to a wider community can only be a good thing.

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