DANBURY, CT USA – 12 October 2017. Today Translators without Borders (TWB), the world’s leading non-profit translation organization, is celebrating the major milestone of 50 million words translated for development aid and crisis response programs delivered by humanitarian partners. Fifty million translated words over the past six years is a major achievement made possible because of the support of thousands of volunteer translators and supporters who dedicate their time to help TWB realize its vision of a world where knowledge knows no language barriers.
The reach of that translated content is the real measure of impact. This got us thinking…how can we imagine 50 million words?
Things you can do with 50 million words
- You could translate the much-loved Alice in Wonderland 1,891 times.
- Type non-stop for 2.4 years at a speed of 40 words per minute, and you’ll reach 50 million clicks.
- If each word were on a square of double-ply toilet paper, you could send the roll to the moon and back 392,860 times.
- The average person could speak for ten years, and that would be 50 million spoken words.
- You could say Hello! Or Sawasdee to every person in Thailand.
Or you could do what TWB and its community of translators have done
- Translate over one million words of critical content into Arabic, Farsi, Kurdish, Urdu, and Pashto so that refugees arriving in Greece have information in their languages.
- Translate 1,900+ medical articles into 90 languages for the Wiki Project Med Foundation – content on topics like Ebola or Zika fever, diarrhea or malaria that is getting about 40 million views per year.
- Train local translators in Guinea to translate critical and life-saving medical information to ensure that information reaches the most vulnerable communities in West Africa.
- Build freely available online glossaries in Kanuri and Hausa so that humanitarian workers in Nigeria can communicate more effectively with people affected by displacement and conflict.
- Translate 500K words into Swahili to help train the first Swahili Machine Translation (MT).
“Fifty million is not just a number. The contribution of 50 million words to global aid is a stunning achievement made possible by the growing community of Translators without Borders made up of tens of thousands of volunteers, the executive team, and donors,” said Lori Thicke, Founder of Translators without Borders. “I believe that language is the missing piece in humanitarian action and that TWB is working today at scale to fill in that gap,”
Aimee Ansari, TWB Executive Director added, “TWB has come a long way since first creating its translation platform. With every important milestone reached, we are contributing to getting more impactful content to more people who need it, in their language. It is great to see that with every year we are working with more non-profit partners, in more languages, and delivering content in more ways, such as voice-over and subtitling.”
About Translators without Borders
Translators without Borders (TWB) envisions a world where knowledge knows no language barriers. The US-based non-profit provides people access to vital knowledge in their language by connecting non-profit organizations with a community of language professionals, building local language translation capacity, and raising awareness of language barriers. Originally founded in 1993 in France (as Traducteurs sans Frontières), TWB translates millions of words of life-saving and life-changing information a year. In 2013, TWB created the first-ever crisis relief translation service, Words of Relief, which has responded to crises every year since.
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