Translators without Borders' activities have been covered by news organizations around the world. For interviews and news inquiries please contact firstname.lastname@example.org
The child translators on the frontline of Europe's migrant crisis (21 September 2017)
Because children are quicker at learning new languages and because of the general lack of resources to hire interpreters, refugee and migrant children are often used as interpreters in the European migration crisis - READ MORE
Without Good Interpreters, Refugees Are Lost in an Information Void (20 September 2017)
Humanitarian interpreters are in short supply in Greece, where language barriers hider effective refugee response. Translators without Borders launches a new platform to help connect interpreters and refugee support groups - READ MORE
When hurricane warnings are lost in translation (9 September 2017)
The American Red Cross partners with Translators without Borders to communicate with those in Florida affected by Hurricane Irma who do not speak English - READ MORE
Language tech in the non-profit world – an interview with Mirko Plitt (5 September 2017)
TWB’s Head of Technology, Mirko Plitt, talks about the role that tech plays at TWB in giving people access to vital information in a language they understand. He also gives an inside look at the major tech changes that the organization has undergone in the past 12 months - with the introduction of a Translation Management System, and other language tech developments - READ MORE
World Humanitarian Day – A Q&A with Translators without Borders (18 August 2017)
TWB’s Executive Director, Aimee Ansari, talks about TWB’s involvement in the Ebola crisis and the European refugee crisis response in Greece, and reveals the organization’s vision for the years to come - READ MORE
Using language to change the world (17 August 2017)
As part of TWB’s efforts to respond quickly to crisis and to eliminate language barriers, Head of Technology Mirko Plitt developed Kató, TWB’s first translation platform with support from MateCat - READ MORE
Yesterday and tomorrow: making the promise of technology a reality (9 August 2017)
What happens if we give access to information to the billions who lack it, in a language they understand? TWB Head of Innovation and Deputy Director, Rebecca Petras on TWB’s exciting journey to explore innovative ways to make life-saving information accessible to those who need it, in their languages - READ MORE
Translators without Borders and Technology (1 August 2017)
Jost Zetzsche talks about the efforts of Translators without Borders, including those related to translation technology: from the development of a machine translation for Kurdish languages; a Glossary app that can be used by aid workers; and Kató, TWB translation platform - READ MORE
TWB First Vlog on the #JourneytoScale (26 July 2017)
In this first vlog created with the support of the Humanitarian Innovation Fund (HIF), the TWB Words of Relief team documents their exciting journey to scale up humanitarian innovation, with a behind-the-scenes look at how remote crisis translation works and demos of TWB’s translation platform and glossary app - READ MORE
Coming Together to Make Translation Newsworthy (for the Right Reasons) (16 June 2017)
On the important occasion of the adoption of UN Resolution A/71/288, and recognition of 30 September as International Translation Day, Moravia reflects on the often silent, yet crucial role of professional translators in connecting nations and fostering peace, understanding, and development – READ MORE
Translation and the Ebola Crisis: How We Can Help (7 June 2017)
Globally Speaking Radio interviews TWB's Ellie Kemp and Lori Thicke about how training translators to bring information to a local level can turn a crisis around and save lives - LISTEN TO THE PODCAST
The World Humanitarian Summit One Year Later: Participation Revolution? People Need Agency & Information (31 May 2017)
One year on from the World Humanitarian Summit, TWB Executive Director, Aimee Ansari reflects on the Grand Bargain. Has the ambitious 'participation revolution' missed the point entirely and failed to consider how people get information and make decisions? - READ MORE
Translators without Borders in action (1 May 2017)
The work of Translators without Borders is featured in the first issue of Connections, the monthly online magazine by Standing Out Mastermind (SOM) - READ MORE
Language, Power and Aid Effectiveness (24 April 2017)
Ellie Kemp, TWB Head of Crisis Response, writes about TWB’s journey to scale up its support to communities and aid workers in humanitarian emergencies, and why language is a challenge in humanitarian response - READ MORE
Participating in the localization industry (24 April 2017)
Maria Kania, offers advice and inspiration for those looking to apply their skills on a voluntary basis within the localization industry – READ MORE
The future of technology in crisis response (30 March 2017)
8 takeaways from the Humanitarian ITC Forum, where UN agencies, NGOs, start-ups, tech and financial services giants gathered to discuss how to empower people in crisis through digital connectivity – READ MORE
Key takeaways from the Humanitarian ICT Forum (29 March 2017)
Top takeaways from Humanitarian ICT forum – “The Participation Revolution: Empowering Affected People” – in which nearly 200 representatives from the technology and humanitarian communities agreed that communication is aid and is among the most basic needs – READ MORE
Pangeanic renews its support for Translators without Borders (27 February 2017)
Pangeanic Translation Services & Machine Translation Technologies shows a strong commitment to social action once again by renewing its silver sponsorship of Translators without Borders – READ MORE
Translation Cards (26 January 2017)
UNHCR takes us through the innovative technologies brought to life with the help of Translators without Borders and other key partners to respond appropriately to the language needs of those affected by the European refugee crisis – READ MORE
The rise of AI translators (14 December 2016)
This article talks about how translation companies, and non-profits such as TWB, are using different types of machine translation to complement the work of translators – READ MORE
Tolkegruppen Oversættergruppen P/S renews sponsorship of Translators without Borders for 2017 (30 November 2016)
Tolkegruppen Oversættergruppen P/S announces the renewal of their Translators without Borders bronze sponsorship for the third year in a row - READ MORE
A fundraiser with a spin at Tekom 2016 to support Translators without Borders (9 November 2016)
Read this article to learn more about the great work of Zelenka at Tekom 2016. The team transformed their booth into a "beat-the-clock spinning session" to raise funds for TWB and spread the word that language matters - READ MORE
Translators without Borders joins six partner NGOs to launch the new Mixed Migration Platform in MENA. (1 November 2016)
The new Mixed Migration Platform aims to provide quality information to the millions of refugees, asylum seekers and migrants arriving in Europe. TWB welcomes this opportunity to ensure that vital information is accessible to a mixed language audience, helping migrants to make informed decisions - READ MORE
Translating Europe Forum (27 October 2016)
Listen to TWB Board Chair Andrew Bredenkamp speak passionately about the history and work of Translators without Borders. Watch from minute 8:27 when Vice-President of the European Commission Kristalina Georgieva gives an impressively supportive introduction to the presentation – WATCH
Roger TowersSmith of Zelenka shares his experience of ATC and the impact of Aimee Ansari's keynote address (12 October 2016)
Read this blog post by Roger Towers Smith from Zelenka where he comments on his first time at the Association of Translation Companies Annual Conference last month. He describes the presentation given by TWB's Executive Director as 'championing the attention of everyone in the room - READ MORE
Slator gives us the highlights from the ATC 2016 Language Summit (29 September 2016)
Among Slator's highlights of this year's ATC conference was the keynote address by TWB's Executive Director Aimee Ansari, who talked about the current European refugee crisis and the striking difference that access to information in the right language can make in a crisis scenario - READ MORE
Ten defining principles of radically open partnerships - Translators without Borders supporting the Translation Cards project (28 July 2016)
UNHCR Innovation talks about the award winning Translation Cards project for which Translators without Borders provided the translations as part of our response to the European refugee crisis - READ MORE
Wikipedia medical articles simplified and improved by medical students - viewed 22 million times. (August 2016)
Medical students participate in a program which teaches them to improve Wikipedia medical articles, through editing and simplification, rendering them more accessible and useful to readers worldwide. The improved articles have been viewed 22 million times since 2013 and serve to dispel misinformation and inaccurate facts that can have serious consequences for people seeking medical information online. Translators without Borders has been collaborating on this project - READ MORE
Lugha Zima La Teknolojia - The Universal Language of Technology (21 September 2016)
Aimee Ansari, TWB Executive Director reflects on her recent visit to our office in Kenya and how Kenyans are trailblazing the path to better business with innovative and non-traditional solutions - READ MORE
When Translation Saves Lives: The Vision of Translators without Borders (31 August 2016)
In this edition of the Globally Speaking Podcast, we’re joined by Lori Thicke, founder of the non-profit organization responsible for breaking down language barriers humanitarians face all over the world. Lori shares the unique story of how the organization came to life and digs deep into the critical need for proper translation when responding to catastrophic events - READ MORE
Rumours and lies: 'The refugee crisis is an information crisis' (18 August 2016)
As refugees desperately search for reliable information, one NGO has created a rumour tracker to investigate and disprove the myths circulating the camps. Fieldworkers who speak Arabic or Farsi engage with people in the Greek camps, collect the rumours that are circulating, and then verify or dispel them. This information is posted on a dedicated website and corresponding Facebook pages in English, Arabic, Farsi and Greek - READ MORE
Your Phone Is Now a Refugee's Phone (29 July 2016)
BBC Media recently released a report titled “Voices of Refugees,” in which refugees list information in their own language as being critical for them to find asylum and keep themselves and their families safe while on the move. We take this opportunity to not only write about BBC Media’s report, but also highlight the life-saving work being done by Translators without Borders - READ MORE
H2H – A New Formula for Aid? (29 June 2015)
If humanitarians are not communicating in the right language with affected populations, then they are not really communicating at all. Listen to TWB Deputy Director, Rebecca Petras speak at the World Humanitarian Summit to Martin Dawes of the CDAC Network - Listen
Communicating with Disaster Affected Communities (29 June 2016)
The CDAC Network is a network of organizations dedicated to improving Communication with Disaster Affected Communities. This film looks at why the CDAC Network exists, what it does and how it has been so effective in helping during humanitarian crises - WATCH
'When people flee conflict, a lack of communication can result in death, making the work of translators vital', says Marleen Laschet. This emotion provoking article explains the language challenges faced by those caught up in the European refugee crisis and what NGOs, including TWB, are doing to provide vital language solutions - READ MORE
REPORT: More than just luck: Innovation in humanitarian action (April 2016)
This report presents the synthesised findings from 15 case studies (one of which is TWB's Words of Relief), undertaken by ALNAP in partnership with ELRHA’s Humanitarian Innovation Fund (HIF). It is produced as part of a broader research partnership between ALNAP and ELRHA that has sought to define and understand what successful innovation looks like in the humanitarian sector - READ MORE.
For refugees, access to information is a matter of life and death. Here’s what Internews is doing to help - with the help of TWB - READ MORE
Making effective communication a priority in humanitarian relief efforts (15 May 2016)
A follow-up to “Content and Crisis: Translators without Borders,” this interview introduces Aimee Ansari, Translators Without Borders’ newly appointed executive director.
Can innovation help fix the world's overwhelmed humanitarian system? (10 May 2016)
Rebecca Petras, TWB Deputy Director, joins the discussion on the role of innovation in humanitarian crisis response and uses the Words of Relief program as an example.
Lesbos: Online Volunteers Bridge Language Gap (16 May 2016)
How do you help someone if you can’t communicate with them? Translators without Borders, a remote network of volunteer translators, is helping NGOs in the Western Balkans translate vital information to help newly arrived migrants on the island of Lesbos.
Making sure refugees aren’t lost in translation – with one simple app (19 April 2016)
Interpreters who are able to provide this vital service—translating between a group of Dari speakers and Macedonian volunteers for example—are in short supply. The Emergency Lab needed to support the UNHCR operation on the ground to generate solutions that would help them to share accurate, accessible information with refugees and migrants in the language they understand.
Content and Crisis: TRANSLATORS WITHOUT BORDERS (15 April 2016)
When the flow of communication breaks down, language itself becomes the site of a flashpoint. It spawns yet another crisis atop the initial one. It’s easy to imagine how a communications crisis can occur within the closed context of a single language. But when it occurs across multiple languages, the risk and scale of potential harm reaches exceedingly dangerous levels.
Women’s Empowerment Principles (WEPs): Bayer & Evidence Project Launch New Initiative (16 March 2016)
An article about Bayer and the Evidence Project’s newly-launched package of online health education materials, which Translators without Borders provided comprehension testing for.
FINAL Q&A: REFLECTIONS FROM TRANSLATORS WITHOUT BORDERS (07 March 2016)
An interview with Translators without Border’s deputy director Rebecca Petras about the “Words of Relief” project, the world’s first crisis relief translation service.
All the news that's fit to migrate (07 March 2016)
The “News That Moves” campaign, which is supported by Translators without Borders, helps provide refugees traveling the Balkan route with the accurate, timely information they need to continue their journey.
View on Migration: Translation tools for Refugees (03 March 2016)
Interview with our own Rebecca Petras about the work done by our Words of Relief Rapid Response Teams to help European refugees overcome the language and communication barriers they face.
How Digital Humanitarians Are Closing the Gaps In Worldwide Disaster Response (28 January 2016)
It is now commonplace for people around the world to use social media during emergencies, and the volume of online information coupled with its rapid arrival is becoming increasingly overwhelming to humanitarian organizations. In response, digital humanitarians have organized into skilled teams online to decipher the signals from the noise and thus provide accurate data. These teams work in partnership with formal humanitarian organizations using digital forensics, mapmaking, data mining, curation and open dialogue.
How to Be a Better Human Being in 2016 – 4 good causes you can support, no matter where you live (29 January 2016)
Eighteen years have passed since I started writing down my thoughts. Back in the 1990s I was always starting with "Dear Diary" and would apologize if I didn't make an appearance for a day or two. Nowadays my entries are more about the essence of things and admittedly more sporadic, but one thing hasn't yet changed: the quote at the beginning of each of these 18 annual diaries. Michael Jackson has sung it: "If you want to make the word a better place, take a look at yourself, and make a change." I spoke to four blooming organizations without borders to help me achieve my self-development goal for 2016 — generosity.
#MLKDay of Service (14 January 2016)
The Martin Luther King Jr. Day of Service is a way to transform Dr. King’s life and teachings into community service that helps empower and strengthen local communities. Each year citizens and organizations unite to become engaged in service activities to honor Martin Luther King Jr. on the federal holiday, Monday January 18. This is true for digital volunteerism as well. On this day of service, lend your digital voice to the cause and help lift up those who help bring critical services that stabilize and improve communications for those impacted by disaster.
Quest to Spread Dignity, Born in Calcutta (1 July 2015)
“(Kharas) really understood that to have an effect, any Ebola information would have to be available in languages that people (caught in the epidemic) could understand. I don’t remember anyone else who saw that,” says Grace Tang, Nairobi-based global co-ordinator for Translators Without Borders, which translated five of the video’s language versions.
Ebola: a crisis of language (June 2015)
In the aftermath of the Ebola outbreak, the humanitarian community is taking a hard look at international response mechanisms, evaluating what went well and what can be improved. One of the main areas of criticism has been the initial slow response when the disease took hold in spring 2014. These concerns have prompted the World Health Organisation (WHO), among others, to pursue major reforms directed at strengthening disease-fighting capabilities.
Translators without Borders Springs to Action in Wake of Nepal Earthquake (29 April 2015)
Translators without Borders (TWB) activated as soon as they heard news of the 7.8 magnitude earthquake in Nepal from their aid partners and crisis response networks last Saturday. They immediately put the call out for volunteers and received an outpouring of support, mostly from the Nepalese diaspora. TWB built a rapid response team of about 25 professional translators and bilinguals. Working together, they have been providing 24/7 coverage since late Saturday.
Can you hear me now? Why good communication is critical to the Nepal quake response (29 April 2015)
Kunda Dixit, editor of the respected weekly Nepali Times, wasn’t at work on the afternoon of 25 April. It being a Saturday, he and some colleagues were enjoying a day away from work, hiking in the mountains that surround Kathmandu. They were just descending a ridge when the ground began to shake. They watched in horror as clouds of dust rose from the city. “We hugged each other, some of us crying,” he says. Then, “we reached for our phones.”
Translators Without Borders: When Linguistics Saves Lives (2 April 2015)
By summer’s end in 2014, an outbreak of the Ebola virus in West Africa had turned into a full-scale epidemic, and Firdaus Kharas was frantically trying to find ways to translate his animated Ebola-prevention video into enough languages to be understood in every village in the stricken areas. That’s when he contacted Translators without Borders (TWB)…
To make a real difference in some of Africa's poorest countries, we should train more translators (21 January 2015)
We’re getting better at breaking down language barriers. Thanks to the likes of Google Translate, Duolingo, Rosetta Stone and Skype, we can understand — and even communicate — across languages. Machine translation is improving all the time. But it’s not always enough.
World Update: Translators Without Borders take on Ebola (2 September 2014)
In the fight against Ebola, of course medical intervention is the first priority. But it is just as important to help people understand the disease and how to fight it - ignorance and rumour have hampered relief efforts. Translators without Borders is a charity that works to overcome the information gap – the picture shows a detail of one of their Ebola posters in Hausa. Lori Thicke is its founder and president - she spoke to Dan Damon.
Wikipedia's medical errors and one doctor's fight to correct them (21 August 2014)
In his fight to bring high quality health information to people around the world, Heilman has one more passion — translating those top 200 articles from English into Wikipedia's 286 other languages. Heilman says he is collaborating with Translators Without Borders, a group which links translators around the world with NGOs working in health, nutrition and education.
Africa’s Biggest City Fights ‘Wicked Lies’ on Ebola Myths (12 August 2014)
Getting information to Nigeria’s more than 250 ethnic groups who speak more than 500 languages is also a challenge, Lori Thicke, co-founder of Danbury, Connecticut-based Translators Without Borders, said by phone. Only 70 percent of the population can be reached using the four main languages of English, Hausa, Igbo and Yoruba, she said. The organization is helping to translate some of the Ebola prevention messages.
Doctors and Translators Are Working Together to Bridge Wikipedia's Medical Language Gap (27 July 2014)
The project itself started off in 2011 when Dr. James Heilman and a number of translators from Translators Without Borders: Enrique Cavalitto and Ildiko Santana teamed up in an effort to translate medical articles. Since then, the project has exploded into a larger translation forum with hundreds of translators translating articles into almost a hundred different languages.
Message Library without Borders (July 2014)
The generic messages, developed during the infoasaid project, are currently available in English. We are now extremely excited that these messages will soon be available in at least seven translated languages. We are starting with Arabic, Spanish, French, Portuguese, Chinese (Mandarin), Bahasa Indonesian and Hindi thanks to the support of CDAC Network Member Translators without Borders.
2013 Da Vinci Award Recipients (April 19, 2014)
Humanity Road announced today the selection of the 2013 Choice Awards for disaster response. We’re thrilled to announce recipients for our 2013 Da Vinci award. Significant and noteworthy service or product contribution, this medal is awarded to a Patron or contributor who has added significant value in support of Humanity Road programs. Through donations in kind or contributions they have helped mold shape and support the organization. Award recipients of the Da Vinci Medal are chosen by the Humanity Road Board of Directors. This year’s recipients are Translator’s without Borders for their support during Typhoon Haiyan and Progeny Systems for their small business innovation partnership dedicated to process improvement. Both organizations provided critical support for Humanity Road disaster response operations for the Philippines.
Translators without Borders Receives Grant from Microsoft (March 10, 2014)
You can’t perhaps be fully prepared for a crisis, but why should that stop you from trying? Translation forms a critical part of that crisis preparedness, for the precise reason that it would be the last thing on anyone’s mind when actually hit by a cyclone or a tsunami. The Technology for Good grant from Microsoft that Translators without Borders received will fund a crowdsourcing app to help communities communicate with aid workers when natural or man-made disasters strike and the aid workers do not speak the same language as the affected populations. The grant includes a package of cash, software, and Azure cloud-based services worth about US$250,000.
Microsoft Grants Three Non-profits Cash, Software and Services for Technology Innovation (March 7, 2014)
Humanitarian support runs into many barriers, not the least being language. Relief workers flock to areas in distress to help those in need – only to face communication challenges because they don’t speak the local language. Providing critical health, safety, and transportation information can be difficult if not impossible. In order to share accurate information between crisis-affected communities and international aid organizations, Translators Without Borders will create Words of Relief. The Azure-based service is designed to facilitate machine translation and will also provide real-time translation via Skype.
Val Swisher on Translation Without Borders at Intelligent Content 2014 (March 3, 2014)
Val Swisher of Content Rules talks about her presentation, “WikiProject Medicine: Breaking Down Barriers to Save Lives” at Intelligent Content 2014.
Language Has Risks for Health Translators(VOA Learning English, February 19, 2014)
This is the VOA Special English Health Report.
Translators Without Borders is an American non-profit group. It provides language services to nongovernmental organizations such as, yes, Doctors Without Borders. The group recently trained some new translators in Nairobi in how to put health information into local languages for Kenyans.
Radio interview about Translators without Borders with Enrique Cavalitto (Spanish)(Translator T.O., January 23, 2014)
ProZ.com staff member and Translators without Borders board member and Translation Workspace Director Enrique Cavalitto was interviewed today on Argentine radio regarding origin of, and the work being done by, Translators without Borders in support of humanitarian causes around the world. If you speak or understand Spanish, the interview is only 21 minutes long and well worth a listen.
Open Projects - Wikipedia Project Medicine(OSC, January 22, 2014)
This article is the first in a series highlighting open science projectsaround the community. You can read the interview this article was based on: edited for clarity, unedited.
How First Responders Are Using Big Data To Save Lives(Forbes, January 10, 2014)
In an emergency, confusion and delays can cost lives. That’s why first responders are increasingly using live streams of big data–from roadside sensors to security cameras to social media feeds–to respond more efficiently to disasters.
Nairobi and beyond – Translating for humanity(TC World, October, 2013)
The call came in January: “Can you help us translate thousands of messages during the Kenyan elections to make sure civilians across the country are heard?” asked Heather Leson of Ushahidi, the successful non-profit organization focused on information collection during humanitarian events.
Should I be Getting Health Information from Wikipedia? (The Atlantic, September 2013)
If you think about ways in which we can try to provide high quality medical information to the world’s population, I don’t know if Wikipedia is the only viable way, but it’s certainly one of the most viable ways we have in the modern network. Translators Without Borders is going to take this information from the English language Wikipedia and convert it to many of the world’s other most popular languages.
Editing Wikipedia Pages for Med School Credit (The New York Times, 29 September 2013)
These articles are submitted to a group from Translators Without Borders that produces medical articles for Wikipedias in languages spoken in countries that often lack high-quality medical information. Examples include an article in Javanese on dengue fever and one in Hindi on urinary tract infection.
TWB Kenya addresses translation needs (MultiLingual, Oct/Nov 2013)
Translators without Borders (TWB), which for many years operated on the basis of donating translations to nonprofits through existing, volunteer freelance translators, has turned its focus to translator training for underserved regions and languages.
Wikipedia’s medical collaborations gathering pace(The Signpost, 3 July 2013)
At Wikimania, Heilman and Thicke will discuss how TWB and Wikipedia are collaborating to improve medical content. Thicke told the Signpost that "more people die from lack of information than from lack of medication. ... We chose to work with Wikipedia because it’s the most frequently consulted health resource on the web. It's not only scalable, but with Wikipedia Zero, consumers in some parts of the developing world actually have access to Wikipedia free of data charges."
Translators without Borders expands management team and creates board of advisors (tcworld, September 2013)
The non-profit translation organization, Translators without Borders (TWB) has appointed Anne-Marie Colliander Lind as Director of Fundraising to work directly with the humanitarian organization’s growing number of sponsors and supporters.
Helping translators change the world (The Media Online, August 2013)
In a world steeped in information but torn apart by conflict, translation can help ease the flow of messages that enlighten and bring about change.
Kenyan Election Marked By Record Turnout, Limited Violence(NPR, March 2013)
Translators helped keep the peace in the recent Kenyan elections. Translators without Borders partnership with Uchaguzi is represented in NPR’s report on the state of the Kenyan elections.
Africa’s Translation Gap (PRI’s The World, August 2012)
Read about the state of Africa’s translation industry and TWB’s role in its growth and listen to Nataly Kelly’s interview with Patrick Cox.
Spotlight Nonprofit: Bridging the world one translation at a time(Latina Lista, January 2013)
The important work of translators in our increasingly small world is highlighted in this recent article.
Training Health Translators from Scratch (Multilingual, September 2012)
Simon Andriesen, CEO of MediLingua and board member of Translators without Borders, explains the need for translator training in Kenya. A highlight from the article is TWB’s motto for recruitment, “We no longer accept that people suffer or die because of lack of translation.”
Translating for humanity: Interview with Translators Without Borders Founder Lori Thicke(TC World, June, 2010)
Translators Without Borders (TWB, Traducteurs Sans Frontières) was founded in 1993 by Lexcelera, a language service provider based in Paris, France, and its General Manager, Lori Thicke. Over the years, TWB has provided quality humanitarian translations through a network of trained translators to vetted NGOs who focus on health, nutrition and education.
Translators fight the fatal effects of the language gap (The Guardian, April 2012)
Volunteers translating health messages from English into local languages are providing a vital service for NGOs and freeing up millions of extra dollars to be used for medical aid.