User manual for translators

Version 1.05 updated March 31, 2015


The Translators without Borders Workspace powered by, also called translation center, is an automated platform that connects client humanitarian organizations in need of translations with qualified volunteer translators willing to deliver the jobs.

Both clients and translators are screened by Translators without Borders. For further details and to volunteer please check the TWB web page

A translation request can be automatically made available to the translators, or it may require preparation and manual release by a project manager.

When a job is released, the translators who meet the corresponding requirements are automatically sorted in random order, and then notifications are sent out in batches of 5 notifications sent in 15-minute intervals.

Translators are invited to a job posting page where they can evaluate the tasks offered and eventually accept one or more of them. The first notified translator who accepts a task will have it assigned. Once all tasks have been accepted, a job is closed and no longer available to other interested translators.

Menu options

Navigation through the translation center is managed from the top dropdown menu, including:
Dashboard: Displays the following options:

  • Active assignments
  • Available tasks
  • Completed assignments

Translation jobs: Displays the following options:

  • Assignments: displays the work orders created by you
  • Available tasks

Translators: The option “all translators” displays a list of all volunteer translators in the system

Clients: Displays the list of translation center clients

Managing job offers

You will be invited to participate in available jobs by means of:

  • Notifications sent to you
  • The ‘available tasks’ in the dashboard
  • The ‘available tasks’ in the ‘translation jobs' option in the top menu

All the above will lead you to the corresponding ‘job posting' page where you will find:

  • Client:
  • Project:
  • Subject area
  • Instructions
  • Poster:
  • Posted: (date and time)
  • Deadline for quoting: (date and time)
  • Deadline for delivery: (date and time)
  • Volume:
  • Files to be translated
  • Supporting material
  • A box where each task can be accepted
  • A box for declining the job. This is optional, as no action is needed if you don’t want to accept any task

The files to be translated are presented here for evaluation only. Translation should be done only from source files downloaded from the job page once the corresponding task has been assigned to you.

Managing accepted tasks

In the job page you will find a top menu with the following options:

  • Overview: general information on the job
  • Source files: files to be translated, uploaded for this work order
  • Supporting material: not to be translated, only for reference
  • Client information: general information on the client
  • Project information: project description entered by the client

In the main (overview) tab you will find a summary of information on the job, including subject area, client, project, deadline, number of source words, source files and support files, and the notes and instructions posted by the client.

To the right of this screen you will find boxes displaying the status of the job, people on the job and members online.

Below the summary you will find the workflow areas:

  • Sourcing: related to the assignment of tasks to translators
  • Translating: Includes all the tasks to be translated or edited. This area will hold the task(s) assigned to you and to other translators, sometimes including also tasks not yet assigned. If you want to accept one or more additional tasks, you can do so here
  • Delivery: Includes the files translated into the target language or edited. These files will automatically appear in the delivery area when tasks are completed.

The comments area will let you communicate with the ‚people on the job‘, including the client, the PM, editors and other translators.

  • These players will be able to see your comments and will receive a notification when they are posted.
  • Please do not reply to notification emails for communications with other people on the job. All these communications should be implemented by means of the messages feature in the job.
  • Files can be attached to the comments.

In the boxes corresponding to each of the tasks assigned to you, you will find:

  • The deadline for delivery
  • The file to be downloaded for translation or editing.
  • A button for uploading the file you translated or edited.
  • Once you uploaded the processed file, you will see a button to ‘mark task as complete’.

Managing your profile

In the upper right corner of the screen you will see your site name, and clicking on the embedded link will take you to your translation center profile.

The translation center profile displays your badge and other data

  • You will access the instructions to transfer this badge to other web pages, by clicking on the corresponding link.
  • Note: you must have completed a task to see this badge

If your profile is associated to a profile, the badge will be displayed and automatically updated in the profile. Picture, email address, login info and other data will be taken from that profile.

By clicking on the ‚edit profile‘ link you will have access to:

  • Display name: to edit the name you will display in the translation center
  • Public display: To indicate if the profile may be included in any publicly visible lists (ex. a list of featured translators or clients, if applicable
  • Show Badge: To allow the badge to be shown on the profile

Managing your availability

If you have a translator profile in the translation center you are available by default.

  • You can mark yourself as unavailable by editing your availability in the top-right corner of your dashboard.
  • You will receive no invitations to participate as translator in any job created while unavailable.
  • You will become available again when the designated unavailability period expires.
  • You can also manually declare yourself as available again.

Acting as a TWB translator

Once you have accepted a task, you are expected to deliver it no later than by the stated deadline. If you believe that you could may not be able to deliver in time, please post a comment as soon as possible in order to let the project manager and/or client look for alternatives.

You can use the comments feature to post questions to the client/PM and to discuss terminology and other related issues with other translators in the job

When you deliver a translated file, name it by adding an underscore ‚_‘ and the 2-letter code corresponding to the target language. Remove the source language name in the file name if present. For instance, if you translate into Arabic, the translation of a file name filename.doc, filename-English.doc or filename_EN.doc would be in all cases filename_AR.doc.

Always deliver editable documents, even if the source was not editable (for instance a .pdf format).

Once a job is complete, the client will be invited to provide feedback on the translations delivered.

  • Some jobs will be edited by colleagues, who will be also asked to provide feedback on the individual translations.
  • Feedback information will be used for monitoring and maintaining quality in the translation center.
  • Top positive feedback entries can be displayed at or other social media..

If you experience problems when trying to upload a file, please note that some restrictions apply:

  • The maximum upload file size: 10MB
  • Allowed file extensions are doc, pdf, ttx, rtf, txt, odt, docx, odg, xls, xlsx, csv, tmw, zip, iix, mdf, mtf, ots, xml, idt, log, wps, ppt, xlf, pptx, srt, tmx, sdltm, xliff.