Translators Without Borders and the Wikipedia 100-language project

Screen Shot 2015-04-25 at 9.41.38 AM

Screen Shot 2015-04-25 at 9.41.38 AM

Translators Without Borders is an amazing organization of volunteer translators using their skills to make the world a better place.

One project worth noting is an ambitious effort to translate valuable Wikipedia articles into 100 languages:

The 100 x 100 Wikipedia Project envisions the translation of the 100 most widely read Wikipedia articles on health issues into 100 languages. The project is well under way – dozens of articles have been translated into a still growing number of languages.

As I’ve noted in the Report Card, even most of the world’s largest companies fail to support more than 30 languages — only a very small number support more than 40 languages. Sadly, too many executives still have the mindset that they can do business in certain markets without translating for those markets. And I mention this because the world’s largest brands function as language benchmarks for so many other companies. Currently, the benchmark for what constitutes a “global” website remains stubbornly low.

But Wikipedia is more in touch with the world’s Internet users because it reflects input from the world’s Internet users.

Which is why Wikipedia is the world’s language leader, with support for more than 270 languages.

But the content supported by these 270+ is unevenly distributed, meaning many articles do not get the translation attention they deserve.

Which is why the 100-language project is so valuable.

You can track progress and participate here.

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Author: John Yunker

John co-founded Byte Level Research in 2000 and is author of The Web Globalization Report Card. He also co-founder of Ashland Creek Press.