The mission of Translators without Borders is to provide people access to vital knowledge in their language through translation and interpreting, building language translation capacity at a local level, providing translation and simplification services that are culturally appropriate, accessible and open source, and raising awareness globally of language barriers.
Contract length: 1 year with possibility of extension
Hours: Full time
Location: Flexible; home-based
Application deadline: 30 April 2018
Owing to the urgency of the vacancy, screening and interviews will commence immediately and the candidate can be selected at any stage before the closing date.
About Translators without Borders
Translators without Borders (TWB) envisions a world where knowledge knows no language barriers. The US-registered non-profit provides people access to vital knowledge in their language by connecting non-profit organizations with a professional community of translators, 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.
Translators without Borders is looking for a unique candidate who can steer its new initiative focused on machine translation for marginalized languages. The initiative, which is called Gamayun: The Language Equality Initiative, has been prototyped with a small project focused on Levantine Arabic. The intent is to expand the languages, data and use cases, build more partnerships, and funding to expand the initiative significantly in 2019. TWB is looking for a motivated candidate who will drive the language technology component of the initiative.
In this new role, the Computational Linguist will join the small but growing TWB tech team, reporting to the Head of Technology. The core of the role will consist in the application of machine translation, speech recognition, speech synthesis and other language technologies to marginalized languages, ie. extremely low-resource languages spoken by marginalized populations. In this context, responsibilities will reach from exploring technologies — principally open-source — to helping put them into production, autonomously or in coordination with colleagues, external technology providers or academic partners. The Computational Linguist will also work with stakeholders across the organization and in partner NGOs to assess language technology needs, identify opportunities for their deployment and more generally contribute to TWB’s language technology strategy, also as it pertains to the collection of language data. Finally, she will contribute to the maintenance and expansion of TWB’s language technology production environment, Kató, and assist with other language technology projects.
These roles and responsibilities are approximate and may change over time.
The Computational Linguist should be enthusiastic about the importance of increasing access to knowledge through language. The right candidate is an energetic team player, flexible and dynamic in approach, who agrees with TWB´s basic beliefs and values and who can work remotely with team members based throughout the world.
- MS or PhD in Computational Linguistics, or another linguistics-related discipline with extensive hands-on experience in natural language processing gained in a professional or academic context
- Advanced knowledge of at least one leading open-source machine translation framework (eg. OpenNMT or Amazon Sockeye) and also some experience with applying at least one major machine-learning framework to other applications than machine translation
- Knowledge of state-of-the-art speech technology (Kaldi, Mozilla DeepSpeech for ASR, ideally also experience with speech synthesis)
- Advanced programming skills in Python, other programming languages a plus
- Web development skills a plus
- Experience working with a variety of languages (ie. not only English and including languages using non-Latin writing systems)
- Experience with translation management systems a plus
- Excellent working knowledge of written and spoken English
- Proactive and collaborative approach to working in a team
Translators without Borders employees and volunteers are made of people who believe passionately about the value of this work and take personal responsibility for achieving the mission. Translators without Borders’ mission and organizational spirit embody the core values established in its strategic framework:
Excellence: As the leading voice for communicating humanitarian information in the right language, Translators without Borders is a leader in the translation industry and in the non-profit sector.
Integrity: Translators without Borders believes that every person, whether it’s the people who we serve, our volunteers or our staff, has value, deserves respect and has inherent dignity.
Empowerment: Translators without Borders believes in using language to empower people around the world to control their own development and destiny.
Innovation: Translators without Borders recognizes and celebrates the power of innovation to address humanitarian and crisis issues around the world.
Sustainability: Translators without Borders recognizes that meeting our mission necessitates establishment and maintenance of a solid financial and organizational infrastructure.
Tolerance: Our staff and volunteers are highly knowledgeable and skilled; value each other, our partner and our recipients; create a supportive work environment; and, conduct themselves professionally at all times.
Translators without Borders is an equal-opportunity employer, committed to diversity and inclusion, and encourages qualified candidates of all genders and from all national, religious and ethnic backgrounds, including persons living with disabilities, to apply to become a part of our organization.