Multilinguality

written by Tasha on July 13, 2011 in Behind the scenes with no comments

As you might expect, the Europeana office is a very international environment  where you can find Dutch, English, French, German, Danish, Russian, Bulgarian, Canadian, American, Austrian, Australian, Finnish, Russian, Czech, Greek, Kyrgyzstani, Swedish and Italian workers. The majority of Europeana employees can speak at least two languages, many can speak 3, and a few of us know 4 languages or more.

These people have expertise in different areas, such as technical development and project management, and are really busy contributing their knowledge and skills to make Europeana what it is today, as well as working on future upgrades and improvements. This also means that as international and multilingual the Europeana office is, our team does not have the resources to do the in-house translations.

For this, we rely on a network of volunteers. To translate our portal pages, we have translators from 28 countries who are notified when we have a new section of text that requires translation. The work that these translators do is extremely important. Some of our users do smaller scale translation work such as Mr. Bohdan Zograf who has translated our About Us page into Belarusian.

We often receive emails from our users asking for our popular bi-monthly newsletter in another language, particularly French and German. We’d really like to be able to do this, but as with everything, it comes down to resources. For this blog, we use the Google Translate service. We can’t guarantee that the translations are perfect and we’re open to suggestion. Even better, if you’d like to submit a translation of a blog post as a comment, we would welcome it. We value your comments in any language, but we can process it faster if you submit it in English.

Our language policy is available on the portal. You can read it in full here.