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Localization, Time Zones and Global Collaboration Culture juggling

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International, cross time zones.
Heather: Uchaguzi project... 200+ volunteers, 23 languages, all in
real-time... into interactive maps. Partnered with Translators without
Borders... will give EU languages for free. Ushahidi uses Transfex -
does string translation, also can do whole repo... e.g. Catalan
translator will come to your community and translate everything into
Catalan... gave translators that didn't expect.  E.g. Vietnamese - gone
from 0 to 89% translated in a month... currently about 30 languages.
Have long-time community members translating, e.g. for german and
italian... the problem now is "do I translate all my docs", e.g. the
wiki.  Spanish community e.g. wants copies of everything, but don't want
to split the wiki.
Kate: started out in 2 languages, English and Indonesian,
now in 9 languages (Indonesian seen as a nichey language by other
languages)... now working on ? (building damage) - is now in transfex.
Transfex - change a section, and that filters down to people who need to
translate it. (NB Transfex is free up to a certain level).
Andrea: wordpress events program, wordcamp... not many translations, but
does deal with international communities.
Sara: languages of the community... remember that you speaking in
English to 200 people means stress on all 200 people translating your
words, rather than one person (you) doing it. Also British English isn't
the same as American English - some person-stopping translation differences there.
Kate: if you're the only english speaker in a meeting, sometimes better
that you don't talk, because it constrains the language of the meeting.
Christina: mahata... have a community around the world, most common
language is still English, but communities often want the software in
their own language.  Have moved to Launchpad for translation because
translators don't need to know git then.  Also started a proper user
documentation about 2 years ago... people wanted it translated, also put
it on launchpad.  NB community wants translations localised.  Also using
Sphinx - includes screenshots being translated, e.g. German community
doing this.
Heather on Vietnamese translation... was one individual who'd found the
group. Recommendation: this person found 3 bugs in their first week, as
well as translating the software.  Kiswahili wasn't 100% - used
Launchpad for the translators because it was more comfortable for them,
and Transfex for the developers.  "What is the digital version of
working in a room with multiple languages?".  E.g. finding people to
help, e.g. bringing in a Spanish speaker to help with Spanish
translations, by sending an email to them saying "can you please help
with this person".  Fail: asking 3 different people in the same email to
translate in one language: they didn't feel individually special, and
they all spoke different dialects.
Rick: kids are in a language immersion program.  Teaachers tend to go on
automatic for the program, then forget about everything else.  Signs in
Spanish at the school are misspelt or use anglicisms, bothers him...
working to try to bring back that if a teacher speaks spanish to a
child, they have to address them correctly. NY Times: Chinese is good,
but with Mexico the major commercial partner, why not learn Spanish
first.  In school, parents get forgotten... don't just use Google
Translate (incorrect or doesn't make sense)... need to do more than say
"here are some tools - go out and do it". If it's not a professional
translator service, then use someone on the ground.  Local hospital -
signs wrong again.  Malcolm Gladwell, power distance... is great in
hispanic community... even in starbucks, getting the wrong drink because
of the language barrier.  Advocates respectful translation.
NB Kenya: 42 dialects. Uchaguzi - had long discussions about correct
Kiswahili translations. Diaspora spoke kiswahili, people in Kenya spoke
dialects of Kiswahili. Have team captains on translation... tend to
correct. In another language, the translator didn't like their
translations being corrected. Cultural dynamics in the community is
interesting: people won't tell you that they disagree with you - will
say yes, unless you take them aside and ask them.  Assumption that
everyone is going to be like a north american startup doesn't work.
Software dev team is around the world.  Difference: startup mentality -
want to do it, difference is how people talk about their development,
don't quite get OS yet.  Translators in Kenya won't do it for free...
OpenSource doesn't have the same history yet - not as ripe yet, without
the 25 years history.  Get a lot of questions of "why are you free"?
Questions about where the money is coming from, e.g. not just American
funding.  Having regular meetups in Nairobi - hard because 6 products,
software changing - might not be Nairobi issue, maybe more fragmentation.
iHub Nairobi - lot of focus on business startups and open source. RHOK
and SpaceApps are both OS... global sphere has changed the top-level
conversation.  Kenyan election volunteers were in 20 countries... blew
people's minds in Kenya that people would do that.
Really strong guy in Taiwan is mentoring people - melts the borders.
Mainly the channels are in English... own-language conversations tend to
be off-group.
Sometimes the discussion gets split into 2 languages, e.g. French and
English, and they're separate discussions.  Culture: e.g. Kenyans will
go off and solve a problem, but Canadians want to see what's happening
all the time.  "Really pushy and everyone doesn't like you" comment...
example of cultural differences, e.g. Mexico City has 2 types of
university - private (for context) and public (not heard as much because
they don't have as much reach with the media... use different channels,
e.g. startup culture etc). But e.g. if someone is openly corrupt, it's
like old-style business, not emphasis on what's available... translation might mean they go somewhere else.
Lack of training might mean not speak either English or Spanish well.
Priviledge: almost entirely volunteer-run org, position of priviledge to
be able to meet anyone, because no money to fly people out. Discussion
about where State of the Map Asia should be - issue is who's going to be
able to go to it, depending on where it's placed.
Heather tries to choose someone from a region to go to the events there;
e.g. Syrian mapper going to event in Istanbul.  Can't get everyone to
meet - put them into a global hangout instead.  Physically can't be
there because they put their families in danger... how to let people
interact when they're doing dangerous topics online.  Language, digital
literacy, safety.  Right now using conduits - other people to speak for
them. Also timezones - how to have more events in Asia... need to find
more people who are strong to help run these.
Moot community... all over the world... iMoot almost 5 days of 24-hour
sessions, sometimes with sessions offered twice (evening/morning), and
recorded so people can go back afterwards. Used to have
Adobe/Illuminate.. now Big Blue Button ( ),
which worked really well. Helps with talking to people around the globe.
HL: alternated developer calls, but didn't change the numbers of
people... had people waking up in the middle of the night to attend
other calls.
Sara: also tech issue...  and difficult timezones, and
* Have a good schedule master, and coordinating spreadsheet (e.g. "what
time is it in").
* Sometimes have to be up at 3am, to fit in with other schedules. Kate
rule: don't attend meetings between midnight and 5am.
* Wordpress devchat - try to change time every 3 months... Other project
switches monthly (NZ/Europe)... and it's always the person in the
evening who takes the minutes (not the person in the morning).
* Access to technology: most people are accessing web through their
phones? Depends on the country and audience... e.g. cheap Nokias are
text only, but Daadab "everyone's using facebook here" - on Chinese
knockoff phones. What's the percentage?  People in communities probably
have access... many colleagues don't have internet at home, or share a
phone with other people. e.g. people working on harassment maps can't
send this from their phones because other people will know.  Indonesia:
have a spare room in the office where people can come and stay
(wikimedia indonesia idea)... some of the team doesn't have internet
access at home, ask to stay overnight so can meet deadlines... doesn't
work in US because of zoning, but works in other countries.

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