Poland, Warsaw, 2nd OTP Workshop - after TEDxWarsaw 2014

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Poland, Warsaw, 2nd OTP Workshop

1. Summary:

  • Location: Warsaw, Warsaw University of Technology, the Faculty of Mathematics and Information Science (Politechnika Warszawska, wydział Matematyki I Nauk Informacyjnych)
  • Date: 14.03.2014, 10.30 – 17.00
  • Tools: laptop, projector, a group of keen minds and the Idea Jar for collecting the most important points and ideas. :)
  • Attendees: OTP translators and Language Coordinators from all over Europe, TEDxWarsaw Translation and Transcription team members, TEDxWarsaw and TEDxWarsawSalon team members, TEDxWarsaw Hospitality Team member, two volunteer photographers. In total: about 20 people.
  • Goal: To create a community-building opportunity for the OTP members; to discuss problems, compare experiences and share ideas about the functioning of the OTP groups on the local and international level; to discuss the position of the OTP groups in the context of their co-operation with local TEDx organizer groups in Europe.
  • Format: Presentations, discussions, Q & A sessions
  • Topics: How OTP works – the past, the present, the future; Transcription and edition guidelines; Common mistakes and language correctness; Cross-language collaboration; Community building; TEDx events – behind the scenes.


2. Detailed agenda

  • 1. Introductions – Małgorzata Kuś* (OTP translator and TEDx volunteer from Kraków)

Getting to know each other: who we are, where we come from, where we are going – icebreaking activities.

  • 2. How things work in the OTP? – Kinga Skorupska* (Language Coordinator for Polish and TEDxWarsaw team member)

A presentation on the now & then of the OTP: how the workflow, the tools and the community have changed over the years, followed by the discussion covering the translators’ thoughts and experiences concerning the abovementioned topics.

Description of the activities of the TEDxWarsaw OTP sub-team which was created to coach translators in the face of the increased learning curve in the OTP and the addition of TEDx talks to Amara.

  • 3. How to transcribe talks – Asia Pietrulewicz* (a professional transcriber who works at creating subtitles for the deaf)

A presentation of transcription techniques and tips, together with the discussion on the challenges resulting from the expectations of a variety of different target audiences (the disabled, the language learners, the translators etc.).

  • 4. Language correctness and common mistakes in translation – Magdalena Daniel (language teacher, OTP translator and writer)

An overview of common mistakes in the target language of a translation, especially the translator’s mother tongue, often neglected as a result of their focus on mastering their second language.

  • 5. Cross-language collaboration and giving feedback – Judith Matz (Language Coordinator for German)
  • 6. Editing a translation – Valerie Boor* (Language Coordinator for Dutch)

A presentation of useful editing tools for translators, followed by a discussion of the roles and tasks of reviewers and Language Coordinators.

  • 7. LUNCH BREAK – Soul Kitchen*, Noakowskiego 16


  • 8. OTP in numbers and the people behind it - Lidia Camara* (Language Coordinator for Spanish)

History of the OTP as a collaborative volunteer translation project and the different motivations of OTP members.

  • 9. Regional workshops – Ivana Korom* (OTP/TEDx Liaison at TED Conferences)

A presentation on the experience of organizing an OTP workshop for translators from the region of former Yugoslavia, the need to establish a sense of community, discussing problems and establishing norms relevant to a particular language. Group viewing of the movie from the workshop.

  • 10. Community building – Neil Milton* (TEDxWarsaw and TEDxWarsawSalon team member)

A short overview of the role of TEDxWarsawSalons and social media groups in community building between the big, annual TEDxWarsaw events; we found out about the “behind the scenes” of the events – deciding on the theme, recruiting and coaching speakers (ideas matter more than speaking skills, which can be worked on), and what to do when ‘real life’ gets in the way.

  • 11. Organizational structure of TEDx teams – Adam Liwiński* (TEDxWarsaw organizer)

A closer look inside the technicalities of organizing the big, annual events – the licensing and requirements by TED, the venue, the sponsors, the recruitment and preparation of speakers, the assignment of tasks in the team etc., followed by a discussion and Q&A on the co-operation between the local TEDx and OTP teams.

Discussion of the idea of organizational experience vs individual experience and the need for knowledge transfer in large projects.

  • 12. On organizing TEDx events and how OTP members can help – Mateusz Nowak* (TEDxWarsaw and TEDxWarsawSalon team member)

Some of the ideas:

- choosing TED Talks for the events

- animating audience during the event

- cooperation with speakers on the day - a personal speakers angel

- cooperation with speakers before and after the event - guide in the city, etc.

- being at the audience during our coaching sessions

  • 13. Cake* - not a lie

We also got a pink cake from the TEDxWarsaw team. How cool is that? :)



Idea Jar Ideas

- share your workflows and methods with other teams

- help the other language teams improve (there should always be enough water for the workshop :))

- OTP can be presented at TEDxWarsawSalon events; translators can get together at these events, meet each other, promote OTP, discuss issues

- TED teams and organizers should be informed about OTP, how TEDx talks get into Amara, how translation works

- create OTP group on CouchSurfing and post info about any meetings, news, etc

- get speakers to transcribe their own talks

- how to convince TEDx organizers they should include/mention/acknowledge the OTP?


Group sightseeing the day after the workshop!


  • Yes! We we did need water, I also wish air-conditioning had worked better in our room!
  • It's a good idea to scout the area for takeaway coffee ;)
  • The projector had only the VGA socket, no HDMI - so we had to use the backup laptop :)
  • The "rainy day" alternative for sightseeing is not a bad idea :P
  • Having TEDxWarsaw event badges during the workshop was very helpful
  • Arranging the workshop after the TEDxWarsaw event made it more relaxed since translators already knew each other
  • Could have arranged a meeting place/time for all translators during TEDxWarsaw instead of hoping we'd bump into one-another because of violet squares on our badges
  • Violet squares (just self-adhesive colour paper ones) on our badges was an awesome idea, especially that the fact we had them was mentioned from the stage
  • A mix of experienced translators and new translators was a great idea as there were interesting discussions about feedback from both points of view



To our awesome presenters, debaters mentioned above and the translators who visited us from afar, but also close to home :)

To the amazingly supportive TEDxWarsaw team who not only helped us find the place to have the workshop but also granted 20 translator passes to the main annual event :)

To William Garnette for taking notes during the workshop.

To Ivana Korom and Krystian Aparta for help and encouragement :D

To Ewelina Kuczyńska for being our dedicated TEDxWarsaw Hospitality team member.

And last but not least to Magdalena Daniel for helping with drafting forms, e-mails, booklets, biographies, arranging bookings and volunteer photographers!