Poland, Warsaw, 2nd OTP Translatathon

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Below, you will find a detailed report on a transcribeathon organized in collaboration between OTP volunteers and TEDxWarsaw. If you wish to organize an event like this on your own, see this guide.


Location: Warsaw, LANG Language Training Center (See the virtual tour here)

Date: 1 June 2014 10:00 – 15:30

Goal: Community building through continuous engagement, introducing new people to the OTP, transcription training & transcribing TEDxWarsaw talks, fun... fun, fun, fun


Asia Pietrulewicz - introduction to transcribing talks, examples of bad and good transcription

Kinga Skorupska - introduction to the OTP - community pictures, Amara interface, workflow, task limit, GoogleDocs for TEDxWarsaw and on-site support

Mateusz Nowak - Organizing TEDx events, Speaker coaching, Q&A session about the recent TEDxPresidentialPalace event


Additional tips


Tips for preparations

- Have all the important links ready in an easily accessible place, we had them in our local FB group in a sticky post (shorten the links prior to the event using for example tinyurl.com, because some people may not have FB)

- Update the list of available tasks to work on the day prior - make sure your list includes the description of the talk and the original language to help them choose

- Even if you are doing transcriptions only, have a few translations ready in case someone has trouble loading the video, or with their headphones - then they can work on the translation in silence, and later check it with the sound on at home

Tips for introduction

- Ask the participants about their experience, motivation and how they found the event - hearing the answers will let you prepare even better next time :)

- Make sure you know who sits where and who everyone is by name to later tag them or help them find each other if they became friends :) A neat trick to do is to draw the seating arrangements on the board and assign names to each space

- Give them a link to the rules of transcription - http://translations.ted.org/wiki/Zasady_transkrypcji#Transkrypcja and encourage them to write down the numbers 84, 42 and 21 and make sure that they understand which is which and why they are important.

Tips for content

- Allow the new participants to do transcription/translation tasks only - that is how they can learn the most about the basics

- Make rounds in the room to make sure everyone understood the instructions and give hints if you see them make basic mistakes in line breaks or line length - you want everyone to know you are there for them and feel free to ask you questions

- Have a break after the first three hours, either invite someone to talk to them, or do something together like jigsaw puzzles and word games :)

- We had 11 people, and they kept me busy with questions for the first two hours after we picked the tasks

- Be ready to answer people's questions on how to transcribe something best, but don't give them an answer right away, ask leading questions and let them learn on their own :)

- Encourage people to post questions to the FB OTP Polska group and other online forums and tell them what is the best way to do it (Give a link to the talk, the time when something is said and an explanation of your problem within the context of the talk)

Tips for support

- For ColorAmara tool to start working sometimes you need to restart the browser

- Tell the volunteers that they can save their work, but not to save their work manually too much, since each "save" creates an additional revision and comparing becomes more difficult

Tips for follow-up

- Before people leave make sure that everyone knows how to find new tasks, where to go, where they can learn more and that they know they have 30 days to finish their tasks, but of course they can finish earlier :)

- Ask when they prefer to have next workshops/translatathons, weekdays/weekends and tell them they can teach their friends the necessary how-to or even help them register :)

- You can plan and propose a fun activity to do after the translatathon on the same day

- Keep the e-mail address list for later to send a follow-up email (in 15 or so days?) with the next event date when you have it, links and the 30 day task deadline reminder - also ask if you can assist them in any way.


Thanks go to Magdalena Daniel for handling registration and FB announcements, to Krystian Aparta for helping us popularize the event, our presenters, the LANG Language Training Center for the awesome room with great internet and to all the participants, soon to become active contributors and community members! :)

Last thing - this is how we organize our work - feel free to copy! This is just a copy of our actual worksheet. To make a copy you can play around with, go to File/Make a copy. (https://docs.google.com/spreadsheet/ccc?key=0AqwUlCk2VTk1dDhOMlYxVjhEeDVqOGFBYWRGbVFjWHc&usp=drive_web#gid=1)


Here is our actual worksheet, published in case you'd like to see how we are doing: https://docs.google.com/spreadsheet/pub?key=0AqwUlCk2VTk1dFAwaUxEcHllRTRTQ3BQRVBSczEyUkE&output=html