If there is one thing many authors want is to get a larger audience. Of course, that actually depends on what kind of audience they count on, but moving on to the international audience is a desirable outcome for many.
There is only one problem with that. While English is the most spoken language in the world, it isn’t spoken by everyone. Even if we consider the most optimistic estimations, there are approximately 1 billion native and non-native speakers. That’s one out of seven. And there’s a vast difference between beginners and fluent speakers. There are far more beginners than there are Intermediate level speakers, and the number of Advanced level speakers is even less than that. While they all are capable of speaking and understanding English, the vocabulary or grammar of a non-native speaker of English may be merely insufficient to understand some texts or, worse, may cause them to misunderstand them. Now, that’s not too bad if you’re talking about some kind of a social event, but if you are giving a technical advice, then the consequences of a misunderstanding can be even more unpleasant. While it won’t be your fault, and you may not be in trouble legally, people who experience a problem because of misunderstanding your advice may warn their friends, families or even larger audiences off your work because of that. And that is not something any of us would like.
It works two ways, of course. Except that English is at least somewhat understand all around the globe and finding someone to translate a text from this language is not an impossible task. It should be possible wherever you are. However, doing a translation in the opposite direction, that’s where things get a little bit more tricky. Sometimes, crucial information is only found in another language, and there’s no speaker to find nearby. So what do we do? Correct! We turn to online translators, such as Google Translate. But is this the right thing to do? Not in the moral sense, of course. Rather, is that a practical choice?
The truth is, it depends on the situation, and it’s pretty good for a desperate move, but if you are not hopeless, it is far from the most optimum solution.
Alernatives to Online Translators
The best thing you can get is a human-translated text. It is the best choice both for your foreign readers as well. But how to do that? Sure, you can use services of any Translation Bureau. Professional translators will do their job swiftly and in time. And the best thing about that is that anything they translate will be top-notch. But that will cost you. A lot. Unless you represent a company that needs their texts translated, turning to people who translate things for a living will drain your account quickly.
The next best thing? Get help from volunteers. That’s us. You can find plenty of volunteers for text translation anywhere in the world, but it is not a guarantee you can get them to translate your text. What you can do is to get their attention so that they become interested in translating your texts for you.
It is understandable why human translation is better than machine translation. But does that still hold true in this day and age? The answer is yes. One might think that the modern AI algorithms revolutionized translation industry, but that did not happen. Machine translation became more tolerable, more readable, the translation sounds very human-like. But that’s it. At its core, machine translation is still inferior to the work of an inexperienced translator.
The near-perfect end text actually makes things worse. It sounds so smooth and good, but in reality, it can say something utterly unrelated to what the original text says. That is why using volunteer translations is a better option than using machine translations.
What we translate
We, like many other unpaid volunteers, have our own priorities. We are interested in helping out all sorts of organizations, but we definitely give preference to non-commercial projects and movements. We are not accepting free translation requests from commercial agencies at this point, but we are willing to offer such translations to them if the nature of their project is appealing to us.
We do accept requests from non-commercial organizations and individuals. Of course, as unpaid volunteers, we will only accept those requests that are appealing to us.
What project are we likely to accept? First of all, we are interested in IT and particularly cross-platform software. We prefer small-time indie projects over substantial complex programming products, although we might still consider translating for them.
How to Apply
If you represent a non-profit organization or are an activist, feel free to drop us a request. Doing that is very simple. All you have to do is to fill out the form on this page. Alternatively, you can just email us at firstname.lastname@example.org if you believe using the form is not sufficient for what you have in mind.
While we offer translations to multiple languages, we use the help of other volunteers to do that. They usually don’t process your requests. Because of that, it would be preferable if you use English for your applications, as it is the only language all of us are guaranteed to understand when it comes to processing your request.
Once you’ve sent your request, the rest is up to us. We will probably get back to you, but if we don’t, make sure to drop us a note, it is possible for a request to be lost due to technical reasons. It will be a good idea to save the request if you have to resend it.
Keep in mind that we may be unable to translate your text because we have to prioritize. But rest assured, all requests will be carefully considered. We may accept or decline it, and we do not feel obliged to translate every text that comes to us, but if we believe translating your text will be interesting and useful, we will probably do it. Or it can be curious enough and not too long.
The target language is also crucial. We are less likely to accept translation requests for more exotic languages or translation directions.
Do we have our own conditions? Most definitely. First, we translate it, we host it. If you don’t want a translation of your text to be available on https://alestales.com, then we’ll take it away, but you can’t use our translation then. That said, you can use it on your own site if you let us keep it here. Second, we would appreciate if you link our translation in your original work. This will be a good option both for your foreign audience and for us as volunteer translators. Third, we accept requests, but we don’t accept deadlines. As unpaid volunteers, we do not get any monetary reward. As such, we refuse to take any obligations.