01 Jul 2009
Last week's Open Translation Tools summit in Amsterdam brought together some of the leading cross-language social media outlets (DotSub, Global Voices, Yeeyan) with some of the leading developers and thinkers dedicated to putting people from different language communities in touch.
At Meedan we're really excited to be part of this new wave of translation activity. We are working hard to produce a highly interactive, reputation-driven, and fun translation tool set.
So we thought it was time to let you see some of the cool new features we're developing.
1. Land on our homepage, start translating
For a registered user, you can now start translating from our homepage http://beta.Meedan.net.
You'll see our Can You Translate feature on the sidebar.
Click Let Me Translate This to go to the translation or Next to skip to the next comment.
2. See what your friends are translating
Imagine Ghaydaa is a good friend of yours on Meedan.net.
Visit her profile page and you can see all her recent translations in the sidebar.
These translations also show up in the activities feed on her profile page, along with comments and links she has added.
So when you subscribe to her you'll be able to see everything she's translating from your My Meedan notifications.
3. Tell the world how much you love translating
Your profile page also shows how many comments you have translated on Meedan.net so you always know the running total.
You can show this to employers, Facebook friends, your Twitter followers - whoever you think needs to know just how committed you are to translation on the web.
You can also go and meet the people who translate most on Meedan.net and learn from them, or ask them to help put you in touch with people outside your language community.
4. Tell your friends about the blogs and articles you're translating across the web
The IBM Transbrowser let's you translate blogs, articles and Twitter feeds across the web.
But now, with the Transbrowser API, you have a record of every translation you do using the tool.
These are stored in the Recent Web Translations sidebar of your My Meedan page, so others can click through to all the articles you've translated from one page.
They will also show in your activities feed, so that when others subscribe to you they'll be notified every time you translate something on the web.
5. My Translations for organizing your time
Imagine you are working on a tough translation. How do you know someone else isn't working on it too?
With our My Translations tool you can assign yourself translations and track all the translations upcoming or completed.
Simply click through to My Translations from anywhere on the platform, and select translations you want to do out of the To Be Translated feed by clicking Assign To Me.
Then in the Assigned To Me feed you can click through to edit each translation in turn.
In My Translation History you have a useful record of all your translation work in one place.
6. Track your friends' translations from your RSS reader or Delicious account
Your My Meedan page provides you with a feed telling you what your friends are up to.
They may be commenting, or posting links, or translating articles and comments.
You can now subscribe to this feed using an RSS Reader or Delicious live bookmarks.
It's a great way to be informed every time there's a new translation between Arabic and English on the site.
You just need to Enable RSS from your My Meedan page and subscribe to the feed from your browser.
Have a look at the live page of my feed here.
7. UI updates to help you work
We're always working to make our tools easier to use for translators.
So you'll now see a cleaner UI. Hover over Help Translate this Comment and you'll see it highlights in blue. You can also see whether the comment was written originally in Arabic or English, and who translated it.
...Keep giving us feedback
The OTT09 summit showed that there's a lot of work to do. We can only begin to make tools that work for translators if translators are blunt about what they need.
So keep sending your suggestions and bug reports to feedback [at] meedan.net or @meedan on Twitter.