The TWB 2017 Annual Report

At Translators without Borders, thanks to the support of our volunteer translators, partners and donors, we are continuing to grow. This report for the 2017 financial year will give you some examples of that growth, but just to recap a few highlights… During the reporting period, we recruited over 700 new translators and delivered an outstanding 10.9 million translated words to our non-profit partners! We were able to improve the capacity of our rapid response teams, train new teams of translators and interpreters, and add more underserved languages to our working translations.


We know that language support is an essential part of relief efforts in a humanitarian crisis. In 2016-17 our teams contributed to aid efforts around the world, delivering over 800,000 words for the European refugee response, monitoring local-language media in the aftermath of the earthquake in Ecuador, and translating cholera prevention messages after Haiti was ravaged by Hurricane Matthew. Our work in these communities often extends far beyond translation, with a special focus on the simplification of the language used in a response and providing language solutions that are appropriate to the situation. For example, we have translated paper signs in Greece and we have established a simplified, culturally-appropriate terminology for health in more than 40 languages.

Even before disaster strikes, we are constantly working to bridge language and communication gaps, so that we can build capacity across more affected communities. Our technology partners helped us expand and enhance Kató, our online translation platform. This platform now integrates computer-assisted translation; subtitling and audio translation capabilities; and specialized glossaries. Kató plays a critical role in serving languages where there has traditionally been little-to-no translation capacity, connecting non-profit partners and aid organizations with our community of qualified language professionals who now work in more than 250 language pairs.Since 2014, Words of Relief, TWB’s crisis response translation network, has been facilitating communication between people affected by crises and humanitarian workers on the ground. In 2017, we received grant funding from the Humanitarian Innovation Fund. This funding is being used to expand Words of Relief to include voice and interpreting capabilities.  


words of relief




As you will see in this annual report, we spent 2016-2017 tirelessly advocating the importance of translation in the crisis relief process. We want to make sure translation stays at the top of the agenda and we could not have achieved any of this without the support of our in-kind partners, our generous donors, our technology partners and, our fantastic volunteers.

Click here to read the full report.

Written by Lauren Elwin, Volunteer for Translators without Borders. 

#LanguageMatters. So Does Technology.

Improving access to information in the right languages for the world’s poorest, most vulnerable individuals is the core mission of Translators without Borders (TWB). Often, however, there are too few translators or interpreters available, especially during times of crisis when impacted populations and humanitarian responders do not speak the same language.

To alleviate the dearth of translators and interpreters, TWB invests in the skills of our 26,000 strong community of language professionals. We also invest in state-of-the-art tools and technology that enable us to serve many kinds of humanitarian needs.

Translators Guinea Language Technology.
TWB-trained translators in Guinea.

The right combination of skills and technology helps our translators deliver high-quality, accurate information to partner organizations such as Doctors without Borders and the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies, often under chaotic, time-sensitive conditions. Our volunteers work to industry standards, building marketable skills that may lead to paying jobs.

Over the long-term, the data we’re creating will play a key role in bringing more underserved languages online and into the digital age. Continue reading “#LanguageMatters. So Does Technology.”