Motivating Volunteers

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  1. Create and keep Facebook group animated.
    1. Translate appropriate news from LC community. Never copy-paste, never share, but tell the news in your own words in your own language.
    2. Share language-related items: English and your language.
    3. Share TED-related items.
    4. Share translation-related items.
    5. Share pointers to other translator communities.
    6. Share guidelines one item at a time.
    7. Share educational (translation and language) items.
  2. Message translators personally.
    1. Write a personal message (from scratch) if you see an active one gone.
    2. Study their profile and greet personally (as opposed to automatic message).
      1. Note and applaud their particular skills, for example.
      2. Analyze and suggest them how they can make a contribution - you can ask them to do one of these points (e.g. please, print and post this poster in your university).
  3. Connect with translators in other social networks.
  4. Keep up with what's going on in their personal lives.
    1. Not for everybody and up to a certain extent. There are normal commonly understood limits, but you can make new friends here as well, just don't be pushy.
  5. Ask questions and create polls.
    1. Their opinion matters.
    2. You'll know them better.
    3. You'll learn a whole lot.
  6. Engage regularly in other ways, especially in the real world.
    1. Real world creates a strong bond and you'll meet some amazing people.
    2. Send the most active ones paper cards or small physical gifts by mail.
    3. Hangout with them locally, especially if you are in a major metropoli or simply passing by.
  7. Teach them how to use tools, not only Amara, but other professional translation tools.
    1. WordSRT - macros to use the power of Word processor (spell checker, grammar)
    2. Subtitle Edit - fine tweaking and checking of transcripts
    3. Various comparison tools (also called differs) - to compare two versions of subtitles and see more than Amara shows you.
    4. Various CAT tools - these are power tools for pros, often they cost thousands of euros (and often they are worth their price)
  8. Get out there in universities and schools and do some propaganda with English teachers.
    1. TED-wise and OTP-wise
    2. OTP is a good practice for most language students AND it is more useful than translating something nobody needs.
      1. Be careful not to invite too low-level or beginners, as this will lower the quality of translation or increase your load.
  9. Print out and post posters in local schools and universities.
    1. TED OTP Leaflet
    2. Bilingual poster + Bilingual poster sources for Adobe InDesign
  10. Browse online for great universities in other cities and contact faculty with proposals for their students.
    1. It's a good practice for them, they translate something anyway and it's usually a throw away thing. Here they have a chance to do something useful.
    2. It might be a great help for you, especially if a faculty member reviews students' translations - for example to grade.
  11. Browse and engage with other communities of translators and volunteers.
    1. Go translation-wise - people who are translators and translate for the sake of translation or love for language.
    2. Go cause-wise - people who care about a particular topic (physicists, artists, activists, etc) and translate for the sake of their topic or field.
  12. Set up Unnabot and the welcome message.
    1. Ask Unnawut Leepaisalsuwanna.
  13. Personalized welcome message is better than automatic one and Unnawut Leepaisalsuwanna's bot can notify you about new translators. Some LCs research newbies and write them personalized messages according to their skill level and interests - it is a lot of effort, but it's worth it.
  14. Help translators get started
    1. How to check out a translation.
    2. How to translate.
    3. How to tackle hard places.
  15. Help translators through hard places in translation.
    1. 5 minutes for you - 1 hour for them.
    2. Teach them to use community help.
  16. Help translators to find reviewers.
    1. Use your community (but not abuse it).
    2. Use your knowledge of particular translator skills and interests.
  17. After approval send the translator and the reviewer a thank you message regardless of how bad or good their translation was.
    1. You can use templates, but personalize them every time - nobody needs another robot to talk with.
  18. Create a software tool to make their (and your) life easier.
    1. This might be a simple workaround to ease frustration with Amara bugs.
    2. This might be something specialized to take care of your language features.
      1. accents proofing or replacing like ì or ё.
      2. often misused phrase detection.
  19. Show them the impact of their efforts.
    1. TED-provided statistics about OTP project.
    2. Personal stories (how your mom or niece or nephew enjoyed their translation).
  20. Say thank you when they go.
    1. They might return later on.
    2. They did a lot of good already, the deserve it.
  21. Never expect or demand anything. No pressure, we are all volunteers.
  22. Be grateful they chose to do some good.
    1. Regardless how little it is.
      1. Little is still better than nothing.
    2. Regardless how able they are.
      1. May be it was a 9-year old kid who did that "horrible" translation. Or a disabled person. Or a dog - it's internet, you never know who's on the other side :)
  23. Do some of these regularly, do some of these once
    1. Try all of them, see which ones work best.
    2. Try something new and share here.