One does not have to be a programmer or a system administrator to appreciate this wonderful phenomenon. Although, perhaps, to call it a phenomenon would be not entirely accurate, it is, after all, something man-made. We ourselves use GNU Linux, Libre Office, GIMP, Inkscape and many, many other apps that are Open Source and have always been like that.
It is part of the reason we do not accept scholarship submissions in proprietary formats. We understand that many people are used to such file formats, but we still want to discourage them from relying on them. To stop and think about the fact there is an alternative to Microsoft Word, to proprietary image formats and many other things. There is always a free alternative. And where there is none, when there is no alternative to proprietary software… well, those who can think up something so unorthodox and want money for that still deserve recognition.
Open Source is all about helping people all around the world, including us. Open Source is not just about IT, it’s about helping and not taking money for the help. That is what we believe in. We want to help, too. This is why we launched this project. This is why we have our scholarship program. This is why we offer translation free of charge.
Why our translation is better
You would think the recent upgrade of the Google Translate algorithms made human translators obsolete. Sorry to tell you this, but that only made target texts more readable. They still don’t feel quite natural, especially for less popular translation directions.
Moreover, that makes little mistakes hard to find, because the auto-translated text seems seamless and perfect when it’s not. In reality, it may actually say something that doesn’t make any sense. Google Translator is good now (sort of), but it’s not panacea. So what if it makes mistakes look bearable or even hides them? They are still mistakes that have the potential to perverse the meaning of an instruction or a guide.
Entities eligible for our free translation
First of all, it’s the Open Source community, as they were the ones to inspire us to begin with. We may extend our offer to commercial projects; however, that would require them to meet certain conditions. We are going to keep the list of those conditions private for the foreseeable future since we do not accept free translation requests from commercial projects. We may, however, offer them our services free of charge if we believe that would help the Open Source community.
Aside from Open Source IT projects, we welcome any non-profit organizations and volunteering programs to apply. As long as your organization is non-commercial, it qualifies. Simple as that.
We will support any non-profit organization there is, as long as their goals do not contradict with our ideals. And it’s not just big organizations, the ones that bear acronyms as their names. We are ready to support even small-time museums and individual activists.
How we prioritize
If translating your material will help more people without crippling our ability to do that further, we will translate for you.
We cannot guarantee your request will be processed but it will be considered. Since we do not require monetary compensation for our work and provide translation on voluntary basis, we reserve the right to accept of decline a request without explanation. As you can imagine, we are not obliged to adhere to any deadlines you may or may not specify. However, if there is a practical reason for the deadline, we will do our best to translate your text as soon as possible.
We cannot guarantee that we will translate for you, but neither can publish our translation unless the author gives us their permission or the work is under an open-source license. We want to give people access to valuable information in their language. Unfortunately, we may find ourselves held back by our respect for the DMCA.
Languages we offer
We can offer immediate translation for the following languages: English (duh), Esperanto, French, German, Russian and Ukrainian.
We may procure the services of professional translators of other languages. You still won’t have to pay for them, we will be the ones doing that.
How to make a translation request
If you believe that you may need our free translation services, please fill out the form below. Make sure you write in English. Some of use may know foreign languages, but the person who sorts our mail does not.