#5 Translation Category - How To Write Your Application Post to Apply for LM/TranslatorsteemCreated with Sketch.

in utopian-io •  8 months ago

This is actually my 5th Blog on my journey as a Community Manager for the Translation Category. After the google hangout with @elear and the Utopian staff team yesterday, my passion to blog on this category came back with enthusiasm. I must admit I wanted to quit blogging about this subject after my 4th entry 6 weeks ago. I remember saying to myself, "It's too frustrating". During this long silence, people have asked me to continue, so today, with renewed courage, I continue blogging about this exciting translation category.

Writing these blogs is also a great way to help Utopian platform to grow as we share our insights in managing these different categories in the front lines. I saw that @emrebeyler was the brave one to pioneer the way, and then followed by @didic, so my #iamutopian post should be the 3rd one in line. As time goes on, it will be great to see fellow managers and moderators catching this fire to make Utopian great with our blog posts.

Purpose of this Post

For this post, I want to concentrate on how to write a great application post when applying for either the role of language moderator (LM) or translator.

We have just had our third recruitment this week. These are always exciting times for us as we watch applications rolling in everyday. So far, I have reviewed close to 200 applications ever since the translation door opened on June 8th. In the first round of recruitment, 133 people applied. With the second recruitment window opening in July, 54 applications came in. In this third round, 47 applied. Fewer applicants in the last two rounds, but the quality is of higher standards as people become more aware of our expectations.


Having reviewed so many applications, I want to give some suggestions, tips and ideas to new people who want to apply in the next recruitment. I also get a lot of DM from people asking me how they should write their application post, so I see the need to spell out some needed guidelines for future applicants.


Back in June, I proposed this brilliant idea of getting all candidates writing an application post to Davinci team. This set up has proven to be very successful in helping all community managers in assesssing the suitability of candidates.

The format should be simple and straight forward as the whole idea is to get people to apply right away with enthusiasm.

  1. Write a paragraph written in English stating the reasons for wanting to become a Language moderator, a translator or both.

  2. Translate that paragraph into your native langauge.

  3. Do a voice over in English and in your native language. This can be in audio or video format.

I want to keep things simple in the application so that people can get to work right away without any fuss. The most difficult part is probably the voice over as people need to find ways to upload their mp3 or videos.


For me, this is the most valuable part of the application. As someone who reviews applications, I want to get to know you as a person. You can tell me what you do, why you are interested in translation, your training, education and skills with languages. I want to learn about your passion for languages and how it has affected your life.

You can provide informtion about your experiences as a translator. Showcase samples of your previous translated work with url links. It is always exciting for me to see the kind of value you bring to people and different projects with your involvement. In looking at your sample work, I can quickly classify your expertise into any of the following areas:

  • commercial
  • educational
  • legal
  • literary
  • scientific
  • technical
  • computer language

It's great if you want to add a photo of yourself onto the application but this is not required.

Fluent in English & Native Language

You must be highly fluent in English and in your mother tongue. It's not a must that you can only translate to your native language but then your mother tongue is one that you are most fluent in, both in terms of vocabulary and cultural nuances.

Take utmost care when you do your write up in English. Many applicants are disqualified due to making careless mistakes in their writing. Pay attention to basic grammar such as capitalization, putting in commas, and correct spelling. With English as your second language, it is best to keep your sentences short and precise. Stay away from run-on sentences. Concentrate on clarity so that people do not need to re-read your sentences to understand what you are trying to say.

Voice Over

You may wonder why a voice over is needed since translation is mainly a written work for FOSS projects in Crowdin. There is only one reason: I want to hear your voice.


Your voice is your unique identity. Your voice conveys valuable information about you that you may not realize. Don't be shy. Everyone has an accent! No one is accent free. I don't judge you by your accent. More important, I evaluate you on how your communication comes across in your speech. From there, I can tell whether you are competent and proficient in your languages by listening to your "flow" of speech. You may ask: "How do you measure the flow?" This is something very difficult to explain as I acquired this skill from long years of experiences in training teachers. There is no specific formula. It is a professional linguistic skill of art. It's like asking a conductor how he moves his hands when directing a musical performance. He will tell you: use your heart to listen to the flow.

For me, the voice over is the most important part of your application. From your oral speech, whether it is spontaneous talking or reading, I can assess your language level by listening to the intrinsic rhythm that comes across. You can tell I am a musician. Using the music term, your speech will come across "stacatto" when you have not reached a competent level of the language.

Your voice cannot lie. Your voice communicates messages to me far deeper than your written messages. You can copy written language and I would not know the real you. But when you speak, I know the person behind the voice.

Team work

All approved translators are put into teams to work together under the direction of their respective language moderators. Teamwork is vital and actually a crucial part to make the translation category grow from strength to strength in the Utopian-Davinci collaboration. Show to me that you communicate well, cooperate, provide constructive feedback, complete tasks in a most efficient and effective way with other people.


Team work is to have the mindset of "all for one" and "one for all". Everyone counts in the team. Communication is most important to solve all the problems and challenges ahead of us. We need each other to win together!

To help facilitate team work, all languages have their own rooms where the Language moderators work together with all the translators in the Davinci discord channel. This is where they bond, discuss, chat and have fun in completing the translation tasks.

Length of Application

This is a question I am asked the most. There are no specific rules or requirements. You don't need to tell us your life story so an essay is not necessary. From the 200 applications I have reviewed, I see that a 600 - 800 words post is sufficient for us to assess your suitability.


Are you a professional translator? Join us. Get in touch with me @rosatravels or in the DaVinci Discord server.

Let's continue to promote Open Source translation via the Utopian-DaVinci collaboration.

I will try to keep you posted with our constant development in the translation category by giving you weekly updates, if possible. Stay tuned.

Blog Post Series

Thank you for your attention,


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This is a really awesome and useful post. I am so glad to see more people taking up the #iamutopian mantle and writing their posts.

There are some small grammar and proofreading issues, but I can really see you making improvements on that score. I also want to applaud this entire paragraph:

Take utmost care when you do your write up in English. Many applicants are disqualified due to making careless mistakes in their writing. Pay attention to basic grammar such as capitalization, putting in commas, and correct spelling. With English as your second language, it is best to keep your sentences short and precise. Stay away from run-on sentences. Concentrate on clarity so that people do not need to re-read your sentences to understand what you are trying to say.


Your contribution has been evaluated according to Utopian policies and guidelines, as well as a predefined set of questions pertaining to the category.

To view those questions and the relevant answers related to your post, click here.

Need help? Write a ticket on https://support.utopian.io/.
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Thank you @didic for taking the time to read and review. :)


Thank you for your review, @didic!

So far this week you've reviewed 7 contributions. Keep up the good work!

Absoutely cool guide! This is the info that was lacking at the very beginning of the recruiting campaign, when we did not have a clear understanding of how to do this and why.

Just a quick suggestion. It would be great to see the feedback on each application, like a simplified questionnaire.
Example: Your application has been approved / rejected because of

  • Utopian/Steemit abuse in the past
  • poor English grammar
  • insufficiently fluent English speech
  • doubts in the level of knowledge of your mother tongue
  • another reason

Then for applicants there would be no need to wait for the results of each next recruiting window and remain uncertain about their status. Once you have applied in the first window and failed - get the answer and go in peace.
Is it so hard to implement?


Hi @erikaflynn, thank you for giving such a great feedback to us. This is very valuable and yes, we want to give our best to all the applicants. We will discuss about this over with the Davinci team. All feedback and suggestions are welcome!


Perhaps it will be easier to have one Google doc. file with a list of all applicants, their scores and the ability to sort by language. Then everyone will be able to see the number of applications for their country or their own position in the overall ranking. Transparency is what all Steem is about, right?
Why does it bother me? Because it's kind of a personal interest. As one of those who applied 3 months ago and still does not know the result. I can not say about the rest, but for me, the uncertainty is the worst thing...


Hey @erikaflynn
Here's a tip for your valuable feedback! @Utopian-io loves and incentivises informative comments.

Contributing on Utopian
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Thanks, utopian-io!
You are doing a great job rewarding contributors and even their commenters:)

Please be mindful of country-specific tags. These tags are for articles written in that countries language or about that country.

More information:

The Game of Tags

I have been waiting long to start to get involved with utopian as a translator and even I discussed with you couple of times on Discord, but somehow, I am not finding time because of my blogging and other works as eSteem curator and Fundition ambassador.

But, this post has motivated me again to spare some time and work towards becoming a utopian translator :)


Great @coolguy. Anytime when you are free, join us. Our work is ongoing.

Great post and suggestions! Keep going on @rosatravels!

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Nice post .

Useful and informative post...Thanks

Hi @rosatravels! We are @steem-ua, a new Steem dApp, using UserAuthority for algorithmic post curation! In our last Algorithmic Curation Round, consisting of 107 contributions, your post is ranked at #42. The readers like your work! Keep up the good work! Feel free to join our Discord server!

What if English is your mother tongue but you are also fluent in other languages?

hello @rosatravels !
great post you made here ! It was just what I've been searching !
So we need to make a post for Application ? which tags am I supposed to use for it for you to see it ? thanks you again and see you soon !