Organizing Tips For Language Moderators (Utopian Translations Category)

in utopian-io •  2 months ago

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As most of you know, I have been part of the Utopian Universe for the past 3 months. I have had the honor and duty to be a Language Moderator for the Greek team and I have been working with great people I had already known from the Greek Steemit community (@greek-trail) and @steemstem.

Over these months, I have gained enough experience to know what would make my work more efficient and productive. My eyes have seen sixteen projects so far (four of which are not yet completed). Therefore, I would like to share a few organizing tips that will probably help any other LM and their team.


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Some projects are very long (take "The Curious Expedition" for example). Some would think that assigning it to 2 or 3 translators would help finishing it sooner.

In my opinion this is wrong!
Different translators means different writing styles, therefore different wording. What does this get us? Inconsistency that will make the final text look like a mess.

Let each translator choose one project at a time and let them make it theirs. That way, you'll have a coherent text all the way through.


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A good idea is to create a shared document where you list all projects available in your language, the projects assigned to each translator and the days their contribution posts come out. That way everybody knows who is working on what, how many contributions the team had for the week, when a post was published, when it was reviewed and whether it was upvoted or not.

Have an idea of what I am talking about:

The assignment list

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The weekly posts

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Everything is open and organised for the team to see. They can always keep track of their work and see for themselves how productive they and their team members are.


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In the team spreadsheet it's a good idea to keep different sheets as Project Glossaries. That way the whole team will have access to what their fellow translator is dealing with and be able to help with their input in deciding on a correct translation.
Discussion on each team's discord channel is helpful, but because it is tiring and frustrating to scroll up and down in a long conversation to see how the team concluded that the word "key generator" should be translated the other day; it's a better idea to keep a separate sheet for each project.

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One would say: "Hey, we have the TM tool on Crowdin for that."
And I would reply: "Yes, but it's only something you and one translator can see, not all the other members who are squeezing their brains to help out when someone has doubts on specific terms and turns to the team for some help. Plus, it's good to see how some terms were translated in a project as you might come across them in future similar projects."


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If you don't want to end up being at a loss and running after the clock to make sure you'll manage everything, it's good to have specific days scheduled for when you'll be proofreading and reviewing. Let your team know when you will be available, so that they will be able to organize their work accordingly.

This tip was basically @dimitrisp's idea. It would be unfair not to mention his name.


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To make sure you can follow how productive a translator is and have bigger projects under control, you can have a list on your personal Report Sheet with the different project parts and dates of publication.

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Yes, a diary. A weekly overview as an extra comment on your personal Report Sheet is very helpful. A quick description of what happened the past week: issues that came up, things you liked and things you didn't like, a general comment for each translator, anything that will help you follow the course of your team's work as weeks go by and see how your team has evolved, whether people got better or worse and if there are issues that remain unresolved for a long time and more drastic measures should be taken.


That's what @ruth-girl had to say

Those were some of the things we do with my team and so far they help us stay organized and on schedule. It doesn't mean that we are not always open to changes, if they mean our work will be even better, simpler and more efficient. I know that some things might seem like a waste of time, but if you want to be able to control the team work and go back to see past contributions, those tips do help a lot.


Are you an LM?

Do you have any tips to share? I'd love to hear them!



A big thank you goes to @davinci.witness and @utopian-io for a collaboration that promises to open the doors of the Open Source World to a lot more potential users.


Wanna give a hand ?

You can always consider delegating some of your SP to those communities.

Or show your trust?

Why not put @davinci.witness and @utopian-io in those empty slots of your witness list?


Thank you @aka-alias for the cool, free gif dividers!

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This is an excellent post. The writing is clear, the tips are useful, and the thought behind the methods described is solid and clearly born of experience.

Having been a part of group translation projects, I would say it can work, but only under specific circumstances. For instance, if the project can be divided into discreet parts that don't need to be uniform for whatever reason. Generally speaking, I agree with your attitude.

I would ask why you use spreadsheets, and not any of the various task management tools available such as OpenProject. Or a multipurpose tool such as Airtable (which I like to call "Excel designed for people).

Those are quibbles. This was one of my favorite posts in the #iamutopian initiative, and not just because translation is near and dear to my heart.

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Thank you @didic for your kind comment!

About the group translations, yes, it can work if the case is what you describe (we did it with the Byteball Wiki project, but it was shared between two people only, so it was easy to follow their choice of words).

We use spreadsheets for two reasons:
a) because we were asked to make our weekly report to our Community Moderator that way, so it was easier to keep the same formatting more or less in the team spreadsheet - plus, they're easy to share within the group
b) it is my first time managing a team, so I am not familiar with such tools and haven't tried them to see what will suit my needs. In real life my desk is full of post-it notes and my hands often have memos for tattoos.
Thanks for the recommendations, I have to check them out during the weekend!

I am really happy that you liked it! It feels very rewarding reading!

Have a good day! 😊


Thank you for your review, @didic!

So far this week you've reviewed 33 contributions. Keep up the good work!

Great post and thank you for your service ma'am!


Thank you, sir! Good, sir!

Wonderful language moderation tips here but I'm not a language moderator so, I could only wish I was one to be able to put this to use. Anyway, I hope this gets to the audience it's intended for...


Thank you @pearlumie! The target audience is very limited to be honest, but I hope it helps those involved. :D


That's the most important thing, reaching the targeted audience irrespective of their numbers...

This is such a wonderful post. Well done.

Sounds like fun..not!


It is fun... for me! 😛

This is good advice for many things as well as translations.

I can't imagine how much work it must be to translate, the responsibility to feel you are giving justice to the original languages meaning in the translation. Good on you for hard work and well thought out approach!


Thank you!

The work is enough to keep you busy almost like a full-time job on certain days. And depending on the text you have to translate or proofread it can be fun or brain torture...
Since we got some new Language Moderators in the Translations team, I thought I should "share my wisdom" and see if I can get any extra tips and tricks.

Hi @ruth-girl!

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I added utopian-io as witness. Tried davinci-witness but couldn't get the vote to register.

Both do great work on Steemit.

Your post attracted me because I briefly toyed with the idea of translating (into English, from Spanish or German) for davinci, but decided my skills were not strong enough. For a hobby, yes, I could do it, but not with responsibility to others.

As for a group effort in translating a piece--that seems unmanageable. I agree, writing styles would be all over the place.

I don't know how you manage to be so productive in so many ways. It's a challenge for me to get just one piece out:)


Hi @agmoore,
I did the same mistake as you, tried to vote for davinci-witness, but the correct one is @davinci.witness
Let me know if you make it :)

Regarding the post by @ruth-girl, I have one word to say .. Respect - Υποκλίνομαι to your nobleness, precision, extra care for everything and everyone and the love you show at whatever you do.


I am humbled Katerina! Thank you! ^_^


Thank you for the response! I did it. Stubborn woman that I am, wouldn't give up. Went on Discord and sought help. Finally, I found the correct term.
Yes, @ruth-girl is always gracious, despite her busy, busy life. I am kind, but not so busy.


Thank you @agmoore for giving your vote to those! I appreciate it! :)
They are trying to bring quality whichever way they can!

I thought it would be easy in the first place too, but it proved to be quite demanding especially when you have software to translate. Oh well, we are all doing our best.

Good scheduling and time planning is the key to do everything, although sometimes the clock runs after you! :P