The mission of Translators without Borders is to provide people with access to vital knowledge in their language. We do this by building language technology, increasing language translation capacity at a local level, providing language and simplification services that are culturally appropriate, accessible and open source, and raising awareness globally of language barriers.
Contract length: 6 months, with a possibility of extension
Location: Maiduguri, Borno
Travel: some travel in northeast Nigeria (up to 15% of the time)
Reporting to: Nigeria Language Services Coordinator
Application deadline: January 21, 2021
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 every year.
In northeast Nigeria, humanitarian organizations are working to support some 1.9 million internally displaced people (IDPs) and the communities hosting them. But language is a challenge: in this linguistically diverse part of the world, people forced from their homes don’t always speak the same language as the people around them. International aid organizations may lack the skills to communicate with everyone in their own mother tongue. They often also lack information about the language and communication needs of affected people.
TWB has been providing language services in northeast Nigeria for just over a year, building humanitarian capacity for communication in the right language and format. A lot needs to be done. TWB in Nigeria is rapidly scaling up its teams and programs to support responders’ efforts to communicate more effectively, with funding from DFID and ECHO and partnerships with key humanitarian responders like the Norwegian Refugee Council, the International Organization for Migration and the International Rescue Committee
We do not want one third of internally displaced people to lack information in their language. We do not want widespread communication gaps to compromise data quality. We do not want the too common reliance on written communication to exclude vulnerable groups.
So we innovate, we research, we bring unique expertise and approaches to:
- Provide evidence to inform communication strategies, as we have just done with our latest report on audio communication for example.
- Promote accountability through two-way communication in the right languages. TWB helps tailor community feedback mechanisms to the language and communication needs of the most vulnerable.
- Reduce confusion with multilingual terminology databases. TWB’s sectoral glossaries are available for free on a mobile web app with offline and audio capability.
- Train interpreters and field workers. Training in the basics of interpreting limits information loss and aids confidential, ethical support services. Language training for data collectors and program staff promotes data quality and program impact.
- Improve understanding with plain language, translation, and audio. Clear content in plain language using pictures and audio benefits the widest audience. We offer written and audio translations, and support pictorial messaging.
The Shuwa Arabic Community Team Leader, under the guidance of the Language Services Coordinator, will lead on recruiting, capacity building, and managing a community of translators in Shuwa Arabic. The Shuwa Arabic Community Team Leader will be responsible for the high-quality of TWB language services in Shuwa Arabic, in northeastern Nigeria and beyond. Specifically, the successful candidate will deliver and/or ensure the quality of written translations, transcriptions, audio recording, terminology tools, and other language services to humanitarian organizations in Shuwa Arabic, and contribute to monitoring, research and training activities.
Recruitment and management of the Shuwa Arabic pool of translators
- Research and report on the existing capacity of professional language service providers (LSPs) for Shuwa Arabic in northeastern Nigeria
- Mobilise an active team of qualified translators and suitably skilled bilinguals for training and recruitment into a TWB community of translators (reaching out to universities, LSPs, community groups, etc…)
- Test Shuwa Arabic applicant translators to ensure only high-quality applicants are selected
- Train and coach new Shuwa Arabic translators to improve their skills and ensure they know how to use TWB translation platforms and glossaries
- Ensure the quality of translations provided by the pool of translators through revising their translations and coaching translators how to improve
- Conduct community engagement activities for the Shuwa Arabic pool of translators to encourage exchanges of experience, sharing of learning, mutual support and a sense of belonging to a TWB team
Delivery of translation and language services
- Use TWB online platforms to produce high quality and timely translations assigned for translation, revision, or quality assurance, as well as conduct transcriptions and audio-recordings
- Contribute to the collaborative development of sectoral terminology in Shuwa Arabic, including harvesting of sectoral terminology, defining, translating and field testing terms, and co-delivering workshops for partner organizations
- Collaborate with Language Services Coordinator to make sure that alternative workflows are in place and available to translators who cannot access and/or use TWB’s web-based translation platform
- Research, contribute to and/or write language factsheets guides, do’s and don’ts, etc.
- Test interpreters or staff members to assess language competency levels
- Assist with the development and rollout of new tools as they emerge (including online testing modules and audio translation) and provide suggestions on how to further develop existing TWB tools
- Set up and facilitate a peer network of interpreters and translators in north-east Nigeria
Support research and training
- Contribute to the development and delivery of training sessions on interpretation and multilingual communication awareness for staff and volunteers of partner organizations
- Support the implementation of field activities, including comprehension studies, needs assessments and wider research on language
- Participate in monitoring, evaluation, accountability and learning activities
- Collaborate with the Operations team on administrative and logistical tasks related to program activities (e.g. procurement)
- Support TWB’s efforts to scale up operations in Nigeria and the Lake Chad basin
- Attend occasional meetings of humanitarian organizations to relay TWB messaging and report on discussions or decisions as requested
- Initiate or contribute to regular reporting as required
- Maintain open and professional relationships with the internal TWB team, TWB volunteers and partner agencies
- Contribute to a positive, innovative and supportive work environment
- Any other duties relevant to the job description as needed
The role will evolve during the course of the initial deployment as projects and activities develop so flexibility and the willingness to adapt to constantly changing circumstances is important.
- Mother tongue Shuwa Arabic speaker with superb Shuwa Arabic writing skills (in Arabic and Latin scripts)
- 3+ years’ experience in translation or interpretation into Shuwa Arabic, ideally from English
- Ability to quickly learn new online systems
- Excellent level of written and spoken English
- Willingness to travel to insecure locations for work
- Professional translation or interpreting qualifications
- Track record of working with or/and managing volunteers or small teams
- Previous experience with non-profit organizations, particularly in development and/or humanitarian action
- Training experience
- Familiar with office management (financial, logistics) routine
- Experience of Computer Assisted Translation tools
- Experience in team work management/facilitation
- Ability to demonstrate initiative, be proactive and offer a solution-oriented approach
- Determined and committed to high quality standards with attention to detail
- Ability to establish effective and collaborative working relationships at all levels internally and externally
- Excellent written and verbal communication and interpersonal skills
- Ability to prioritise work, meet deadlines and work calmly under pressure
- Self-motivated, flexible and enthusiastic approach to work
- Resourcefulness and ability to innovate to find creative solutions
- Disciplined and with a strong sense of accountability and integrity
- Interest in and commitment to TWB’s humanitarian mandate
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.