Volunteering Programs for Translators

Every day we can find more people who work for a translation agency, where they get to develop their professional career and get paid for it. But there are also increasing opportunities in another type of translation work: volunteering. This is the ideal opportunity for those who know more than one language and who want to do their little bit for a just cause, while reaffirming their capabilities as translators.

At this point, it’s worth mentioning how important translations are within many associations operating internationally, like non-governmental organizations (NGOs). A good exchange of information is essential to achieving the established goals, and not all organizations can afford to hire translators.

If you are thinking of volunteering as a translator, here are some of the most popular choices. It’s important to know how these programs work before signing up with them. This way, you’re making sure that your contribution will be used honestly and that the organization will act in good faith.

Translators without borders (TWB)

Non-profit organization founded in France in 1993 that works on an international scale. Its main activity is helping important information related to health, nutrition, and education reach the places that need it the most. With a global reach, volunteers involved in this organization have the opportunity to carry out activities such as translation, segmentation, correction, etc.

United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR)

The UNHCR’s Spanish committee leads unpaid collaboration efforts both in person and virtually. The online volunteers are responsible for the translation work, their main tasks being the translation of press releases, reports, communications, etc. As a general rule, the translation is usually done from English or French to Spanish. There is an option to receive e-mail notifications when there is a project that fits your profile.

TED ideas worth spreading

TED is a non-profit organization where translators and transcribers help spread ideas to a global audience. To do this, they are responsible for subtitling the talks that allow inspiring ideas to cross borders. In this organization; the steps to complete this work are the following:

Transcription: TED provides an original transcript.

Translation: Subtitles are translated from the original language to the target language, always with the use of a simple interface.

Review: Subtitles are reviewed by a more experienced volunteer.

Approval: Before publication, a TED language coordinator approves the work.

If you have just finished your studies or already have experience in the world of translation, but would like to contribute to humanitarian projects, don’t hesitate to join the circle of translation volunteers. Without a doubt, it’ll be an enriching experience, which in addition to helping others, will allow you to further develop your skills as a translator.

This post is also available in: Español (Spanish) Français (French) Nederlands (Dutch)