Since 2011, when the Translators without Borders Workspace powered by ProZ.com started running, to the beginning of December, our amazing volunteers have delivered 22 million words, or more than 27 times the word count in King James’ Bible.
In order to investigate patterns in this data, an additional analysis was performed comparing total words delivered and last-6-months averages for each month during the last 3 years.
A clear trend can be perceived in the next chart, displaying the monthly values of 6-month averages. We can appreciate long periods of growth separated by ‘plateaus’ of stable or even slightly decreasing traffic.
The team of professionals approved by Translators without Borders reached 2,639 by the end of October. This is impressive, but demand could be outgrowing our resources, especially in pairs such as English into French, Arabic and African languages. This could explain the apparent deceleration in the 3-year average-values curve above.
In order to investigate this gap we analyzed the number of jobs canceled on a monthly basis (as the most common reason for this cancellation is the lack of acceptance of the job by translators).
The rate of canceled jobs is high, with an average of 52 jobs per month. The monthly averages throughout 2013 and 2012 were 30 jobs and 22 jobs respectively.
In order to alleviate this lack of resources, ProZ.com members in the certified PRO program were invited to act as reviewers of potential volunteer translators, and 120 accepted to accept this critical role. Having additional active reviewers increases the rate at which volunteer translators can be approved to operate in the TWB Workspace.
Our top volunteer translator is Eric Ragu, who has donated 312,000 words, followed by ishaklamia (278,000 words), Ashutosh Mitra (249,000 words) and Denise Tarud (212,000 words). Taken together, our four top translators have donated a breathtaking total of over a million words.
During the last 12 months our translators accepted volunteer assignments in 111 language pairs. The top language pair was English to French, representing 23.0 percent of the operation, followed by English into Spanish (13.6 percent), French into English (11.7 percent), English into Portuguese (7.1 percent) and Spanish into English (5.3 percent). Overall, the top three pairs represented 48.3 percent of the words posted for translation in the last 12 months, down from 51.2 percent in April.
This information is important because TWB strives to deliver translations in many languages, especially those from Africa and India, but our operation tends to concentrate on a few Eurocentric languages. In particular our top language pair is English to French, where demand tends to be stronger than our resources can deliver.
The next chart displays the monthly evolution of the top language pairs. We can see that the top pair shows moderate fluctuations around its average value of 23.0 percent. The top three and top five pairs show wider variations around their averages of 48.3 percent and 60.6 percent respectively, but no clear upwards or downwards trend.
A record 160 humanitarian organizations requested our services during the last 12 months, a 15 percent increase with respect to the 139 reported in our last newsletter.
Top clients during that period were the Wikipedia project (900,000 words delivered), followed by Médicos sin Fronteras from Spain (722,000 words), The International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (581,000 words) and Médecins Sans Frontières from Switzerland (415,000 words).