Frequently asked questions

1. What types of material come to Translators without Borders for translation?
The areas that come up most frequently are medical / health, education, environmental and technical. Some work is of a general sort, some is quite specialized.
2. What is the Translators without Borders "Translation Center"?
The Translation Center is an online platform where NGOs approved by Translators without Borders can request translations, and Translators without Borders volunteer translators can accept and deliver the work.
3. Are the translators paid?
No. Although there have been rare exceptions, most of the jobs are done strictly on a volunteer basis.
4. Does Translators without Borders charge the clients?
5. Why not charge the clients? Some of these organizations have budgets.
The idea is that the money the humanitarian organizations save on translations is money that can be spent on things like vaccines, etc.
6. Who are the volunteers?
Mostly full-time professional translators.
7. Is there a screening process?
Yes. Interested parties complete sample translations, which are reviewed by previously accepted translators. The screening process is waived for translators screened through the Certified Pro Network.
8. Why is it necessary to screen, given that this is volunteer work?
The nature of the work demands that quality be controlled.
9. After translations are completed by volunteers, do they get reviewed before delivery to client?
No, they usually go straight to the client. (Hence the importance of screening translators in advance.)
10. How do projects get assigned to translators?
When a project is posted, translators working in the required language pair are notified by email. The translator or translators who accept the job first, get it.
11. What if I am busy with other work?
Simply turn off or ignore any notifications you receive.
12. As a volunteer, how much work would I be expected to do?
As much or as little as you like. Just be sure to complete any work you do accept by the deadline indicated.
13. When I accept a project, will I be working alone, or will I be working with other translators?
Some projects go to a single person, some go to a group.
14. In group projects, is there communication among the group?
Yes. It is common for translators to discuss terms, etc.
15. Is there direct contact with the clients?
There can be. Questions and comments can be posted back and forth between the client and translator(s). (The degree to which clients get involved in the details of projects varies.)
16. What tools are used during the translation process? Are translation memory tools required?
No tools are mandated. On some projects, the translators agree amongst themselves to work in a certain way.
17. Is Translators without Borders a registered non-profit?
Yes, Translators without Borders is registered as a non-profit organization in both the United States and France.
18. I'd like to offer my services as a translator for Translators without Borders. Where do I go?
Start by going to the Translators without Borders registration page at
19. Can I volunteer as a project manager?
Yes! Do that by entering a note in a support ticket at
20. What is the relationship between and Translators without Borders?
Like the translators, offers services to Translators without Borders on a volunteer basis.
21. I have uploaded my translated file but I can't see it on the screen: what should I do?
Before proceeding to upload it again, please refresh the page on your browser.
22. I can't login -- what to do?
Click on the "Forgot your username or password?" to be reminded of your username and to reset your password. Also, if you have a profile, you can try using your username and password.
23. Why is there a "mark as complete" button on the workorder page?
This button exists so that you can indicate that you have uploaded all the files that you intend to upload, so that the job may proceed to the next step in the workflow.
24. Can I upload supporting material, like glossaries or TM's, when delivering my translations?
Yes, just be sure not to click "mark as complete" until you have uploaded all the files you have to upload.
25. I've uploaded a translation, but the deadline has not yet been reached. Can I edit it?
Yes, but only if you have not yet marked the task as complete.
26. Can I request that a task I have marked as complete be reopened?
Yes. Send an email to If the job has not yet moved forward, the task may be reopened.
27. What sort of recognition or reward is there for volunteers?
The satisfaction of participating in worthwhile projects is the main reward. Translators are also recognized in the Translators without Borders Translation Center, via their profiles, and in an optional "badge" that shows words delivered. (For more about the badge, see:
28. How can my organization have access to the services provided by Translators without Borders?
Translators without Borders has a screening process to accept new organizations. To start this process you should submit a support request using the "click here" link at the bottom of the NGO page in the Translators without Borders page at
29. How can my organization access the Translators without Borders Translation Center?
Once approved, every NGO receives an invitation via email to claim its account on the platform: the email contains all the info for this very easy and fast process.
30. How can I log-in to the Translators without Borders Translation Center?
To log in, please visit this page: and simply use your credentials (or those you have created when you registered) to log in.
31. I am a volunteer translator, how can I edit my Translation Center profile?
While logged in, simply click on your name displayed on top right of the page. You will be directed to your profile page where you can modify it by clicking on “edit profile”, on the left column.
32. How can I edit my NGO's profile?
While logged in, slide the cursor on your name on the top right corner on the page, then click on settings, and you will be directed to the profile edit page.
33. How can I edit my NGO’s information displayed on the platform?
While logged in, click on “NGO” on the top orange bar. A list of NGOs will show: please find yours and click on the name written in orange. In the following page, on the left column, click on “edit profile” and you will be able to modify name, website and description for your NGO.
34. How can I create a new work order?
Log in on the Translation Center, then slide the cursor on the “work order” tab on the top orange bar and click “create new work order” from the little menu that pulls down.
35. Can I be sure that my translation request will be accepted by the volunteers?
Translators without Borders can’t assure that translation requests will be accepted by volunteers. NGOs should therefore put all their efforts in presenting their requests in the best possible way.
36. What should I do to make it more likely that my translation request will be accepted?
Provide as much information as possible about the cause for which you seek translation support. Those who are available and believe in the cause are the ones who will accept the work.
37. What happens after the work order is created?
If the work order is less than 2000 words, invitations are automatically sent to volunteer translators for the corresponding language pair. If there are more than 2000 words, a project manager will be notified and she/he will split the document and then activate the automatic invitation process.