I am translating the Steem Whitepaper from English to Dutch | my DaVinci/Utopian adventures so far

in steem •  last month

A little less than a month ago noticed a message from @misslasvegas in a totally non-Steem related Discord channel (although we have a 'Steemit Love' room!), namely that of the @nycoin.community. It has a 'Dutch language' room which I peek in from time to time.

I immediately knew what a great request she did there, since I wanted to do translating work for Utopian before but due to the immense popularity of the category and some quality control issues Utopian was forced to decide to stop the whole translation section!

One of the great aspects of the @utopian-io platform is the diversity of work you can do within their system, so it was sad to see this category be put on hold. Luckily, another amazing club on the Steem Blockchain, namely @davinci.witness, offered to manage the translation category for Utopian, and so a new collaboration came to life:

DaVinci is a curation initiative (and Steem community witness) aimed to provide quality translations to valuable content posted to the Steem blockchain. Comprised of a team of professional translations, and managed with well structured organizational hierarchy, the DaVinci team will have full ownership of the management of the translations category of Utopian.io. This includes on-boarding verified translators, managing moderation and scoring the translations made via the CrowdIn platform by Utopian.io contributors.

The team at DaVinci are being onboarded and guided on Utopian.io workflows and policies, and are being equipped with all the tools and resources necessary to make this collaboration a success on all fronts.

First, only a few languages I'm not fluent in were able to apply for the translator role, but in August it was finally time for Dutchies to step in: with @misslasvegas as the very skilled Language Manager and @minersean as her only team member / translator, she had room for 4 more of us!

And so I applied. And so I got selected in the team. And so the fun started.

[And yes, I have been using my alt-account which didn't have a dedicated use to post the translation reports. I've noticed I already get quite annoyed by people I follow posting repetitive stuff like Actifit Report Cards or... Translation Reports. Didn't want to bother you with it too much! The reports are not exciting to read, just a means to an end.]

Working on the Steem Whitepaper


Looking at the projects that needed a Dutch translation I noticed the Steem Whitepaper was still open for translation. It was translated 50% and since I'm already often explaining parts of the whitepaper to those who want to hear it I thought: "That's a good project to get started with!"

I'm still glad I did it, since I feel at 'home' in the project I'm not afraid to take on the more challenging parts. It's quite technical at times, and a lot of economic jargon is involved as well, which has never been my strong suit but I'm thus far able to find a fitting translation every time, or am able to solve any remaining issues with @misslasvegas.

All in all: it's very fun to dive into the subject I've been spending most of my time on the past 9 months. Wow, 9 months!

Challenges arise from parts in English that don't have a literal translation in Dutch. Also words like 'fee' that seem so simple and so innocent, but actually just don't have a word in Dutch with a likewise broad use - I had to figure out the meaning of each use of 'fee' before I could translate it to Dutch. You English-speaking people have it easy!

A bit on the process


After a bit more than a week working withing the DaVinci/Utopian collaboration I can describe the process as follows:

  • Translator picks one of the whitelisted projects available for translation
  • Translator requests access to the project via crowdin.com and makes sure the Language Manager has access to the project as well
  • Starts translating in crowdin.com which is localization software and works pretty much faultless
  • After a reasonable sized chunk of text is translated the LM will proofread it
  • After a few exchanges and enhancements the translation is 'finished'
  • A post is made within a dedicated DaVinci/Utopian editor and queued for another review by the LM
  • After the post has been reviewed it receives a 'score' based on the post itself, the quality and length of the translation and the difficulty of the text.
  • This 'score' is then used by @utopian-io to calculate a fitting reward in the form of an upvote

It's an easy process and I like the work thus far. Working with a small team on the Blockchain feels right to me, and has led me to create some goals for myself on a weekly basis, like 3-5 translations a week.

This is reasonable, although maybe 3 is more realistic than 5, because a good translation takes quite some brain power and I noticed it can be a quite intensive job depending on the contents of the original translation. Some sentences take 10 revisions before I dare to show them to @misslasvegas ;-)

To be continued


I just wanted to share my first impressions on working within the collaboration! I'm having fun with it and love the feeling of having a 'job' to do on the Blockchain. Translating the Steem Whitepaper to Dutch made sense and also means more people will be able to read it, which adds value to the project I already believe in so much.

The @davinci.witness team is very helpful, as is @misslasvegas. Keep an eye on their account if you are interested in translation work as well - they open up new application rounds every few weeks!

If you're curious about something let me know in the comments!

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Wow. What a cool project, and I am not surprised in the least that you are involved in it.

I love that 'scoring system' and the fact that each translation has two editors looking. I have done some work with translated documents and just a teeny mistake can mushroom in a hurry.

I always admire you Soyrosa, but this is special. Thanks for all you do.

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Yes, the process is well-built and keeps out both big scammers as well as 'teeny mistakes' :-) It's super professional and I love it when things are well-arranged. If they're not in any project I run :')

I always admire you Soyrosa, but this is special. Thanks for all you do.

Thanks for that Tom <3

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Thanks guys <3

Amazing! Good luck with this lovely :)

Also.. I know you mentioned me in a comment a few days ago, I can't seem to find it on busy.org because it won't load past notifications 5 days ago for some reason. I hope it wasn't urgent!

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Hey hey! Thanks @redrica! Yes, it's kind of cool these opportunities are available on the blockchain don't you think?

No, it wasn't urgent, just that @noemilunastorta wanted to know who were coming to SteemFest from #steemsugars! :-)

Hope you are doing well! Your blog doesn't update me on that topic ;-)))

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So cool! I've always wanted to do something for Utopian, maybe one day ;)

I still hope I can find that post, I'm so sad I can't keep up with everyone's Steemfest posts. Life is always full on, but I am trying to organize a better schedule for myself so I can have more Steemit time! I am very well, I haven't been able to post much, but I finally just posted! Not quite an update post, but will explain a little bit of why things have been crazy ;) I can't wait to meet you in person, I'm much better to chat to in person than online hehe.. hope you're well too!!

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Yes - it's super hard to keep up - I experience the same, trying my best :D I'll check out your post - and I agree it's way better to meet up 'IRL' :D We'll have a blast!

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Absolutely can't wait! Have a great week lovely :)

Oh my gosh girl. This sounds fantastical! I’ve always wondered about utopian... what else can be done on there. Pity for me, my other languages are intermediate level.

Your English is sooo good, you’re perfect for this job!

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Yes - it is fantastical! :D There's a lot of work to do on the subject of Open Source projects - bug hunting, post ideas, 'real' developers work... It's pretty cool.

My English is good but translating to English would certainly be harder - that's for those who were raised in two languages maybe :-)

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yeah, Mork is lucky, he was raised like that. He can speak English and Afrikaans fluently.

I am definitely going to check out Utopian. Surely there's something I can do there!

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I'm sure there is! <3

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Now to figure out how it all works... 🤔

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Let's try to find out this week. The translation process is a bit different than their 'general' process, but I'll send you at least a link to their Discord to start with.

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Yes please do!!

Wow! Thanks for putting in the effort!!

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\0/ You can now ask me even more LOL! Time for coffee again? :D

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Haha, that's awesome. I do like asking you questions ;). I'd have coffee with you every weekend haha. Will be in touch about it soon!

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:D Take your time!

Wow! That sounds like great news! Congrats!

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Thanks @lymepoet! :D

Cool! Sounds like a fun project!
Too bad someone already translated it into Russian haha :D

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Hahaha! Indeed! Would you be interested in translating to Russian? Because there's not Russian team yet but with enough people interested - who knows :D

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I think someone already translated it into Russian back in 2016 haha

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I mean for other projects :D They form teams and you can pick from multiple projects, indeed no Steem Whitepaper, but if you like translation work there will be something available once there's a team formed! :-)

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Ohhh, gotcha, sounds kinda interesting. I guess it will depend on whether or not I have free time to complete the translation whenever people take on a project, anyway, keep me in mind! Thanks!

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I wish you could translate the english white paper into 'idiot' so I could understand it ;)

This is amazing. You are amazing.

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Awww - you’re not bad at all yourself! Hahaha! I’ll try to think of a ‘whitepaper for dummies’ series just for you :D

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