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.
Write a paragraph written in English stating the reasons for wanting to become a Language moderator, a translator or both.
Translate that paragraph into your native langauge.
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:
- 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.
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.
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.
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
- #1 Promoting Translation in Utopian.io - Fully alive and Stronger
- #2 Promoting Translation in Utopian.io - Growing Translation Teams in Quality
- #3 Promoting Translation in Utopian.io - Growing Performance
- #4 Promoting Translation in Utopian.io - 51 Translators & Proofreaders Getting FOSS projects in Crowdin Go Global
Thank you for your attention,
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