Ordinary people doing extra ordinary things

translatathon3

Hi, I’m Heather Bailey, I work on some amazing projects at Translate.org.za — from publishing translated books, software, localisation training, language strategy for governments and more. But, compared to the people I work with I really feel quite ordinary. I get to interact and know some of the most incredible people who are doing amazing things for languages across the world.

Right at the beginning of the work of Translate and of localising the web, it was others who were more impressive in their achievements. I am an English speaker who just sailed onto English speaking technology and an English speaking web. It just seemed obvious to me to help out a couple of friends that were Xhosa speakers who couldn’t access this world of technology. So we married out skills and this organic collaboration led to Firefox, in 11 South African languages.

Since then we have realised that this work is far from finished. For all the reasons we love the internet, others should also have a chance to access this experience. But there are so many obstacles that need to be overcome.

Just like me you might think that you are just a ordinary person with ordinary skills. Those skills could just make a huge difference to someone’s life and experience of the internet. You might just have the key to unlocking a huge puzzle and complete one last task for a entire language. We will have a dedicated space at Mozfest that you can visit and see how you could fit into this picture.

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