[AfrICANN-discuss] Translation Programme Put Out for Community Review - Please check it out

Anne-Rachel Inné annerachel at gmail.com
Wed Feb 13 07:52:30 SAST 2008

Translation Programme Put Out for Community Review

ICANN unveils multi-language approach for organisation

13 February 2008

****The draft translation programme that will be used by ICANN to
communicate and interact with non-English speakers has been put out for
community comment today.

The programme has two main aims: to inform people about ICANN as an
organisation, including its history, processes, component parts and
evolution; and to allow people to participate effectively in the
organisation's ongoing decision-making and policy work.

The mission of the programme is to provide those who are not fluent English
speakers with an equal level of access to influence and participate in the
work of the organisation.

A 27-page report, put together by independent expert and localization
specialist Bert Esselink, and overseen by ex-head of translation at the
United Nations, Omar Abou-Zahr, in consultation with the community and ICANN
staff, makes a series of recommendations.

They include that:

   - ICANN divide its documents into four types: Outreach information
   (including factsheets, FAQs, glossaries, brochures); Strategic documents
   (including the Strategic Plan, Operating Plan, Budget, Annual Report);
   Policy documents (including issue papers, preliminary and final reports,
   SSAC papers, IDN status reports); and Other documents (including
   announcement, forms, contracts, and web pages).
   - Outreach information is translated into 10 languages: Arabic,
   Chinese, French, German, Italian, Japanese, Korean, Portuguese, Spanish,
   Russian; Strategic information is translated into five languages: Arabic,
   Chinese, French, Spanish and Russian; Policy documents to be translated as a
   default into five languages with variation depending on circumstances, and
   Other documents translated into languages defined by translation guidelines
   and in consultation with the relevant body in each case.
   - The ICANN community is integrated into the translation programme to
   act as expert reviewers
   - A dedicated translation coordinator is hired to help create
   standardized processes for translation
   - The translation service is outsourced to a third-party/parties
   - Interpretation during ICANN meetings is provided in the national
   language of the country where the meeting is organized, as well as the most
   relevant languages for the region.

On the issue of languages, the "five languages" serve as the most effective
balance of resources for ICANN to achieve participation in its processes.
The "ten languages" allow for 85 percent of the online world to be kept in
contact with what ICANN is, and does in its global coordination role.

View pie chart<http://www.icann.org/images/top-10-languages-pie-13feb08.gif>

The programme has been put out for public comment until 14 March, and a
special meeting will be held at the ICANN meeting in Delhi, Wednesday 13
February 3.30 to

Following community input, the programme will be redrafted as necessary and
put into a Final Report. The intention at this stage is to send the
programme to the Board for review and/or approval at the Paris meeting in

You can view the Draft Translation Programme in full here:
128K]. Comments should be sent to
translation-programme at icann.org. All comments can be viewed at:
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