The Decathlon is not aimed at promoting specific languages only, but we do have a soft spot for minority languages or languages that have a lesser status in their countries of use.
The web-based translation system used by Decathlon, namely Pootle, is capable of handling several translators simultaneously in a single language on a single localisation file. It is ideal for a group of friends or people who met each other online, to translate at their leisure into their own language.
So if you're a translator or if you are excited about your language, why not get a few friends or colleagues involved? If you can get just 9 other people to help you out with your language, you can translate most software projects in a short time.
We have tried to find student translators by contacting the linguistics departments of various universities form all over the world. So far, this effort has been mildly successful. Some lecturers know that it can be useful to encourage translation students to get involved in volunteer translation projects.
Next, we tried to get people who are excited about language development, by contacting language boards and language institutions from all over the world. We've had a measure of success with this drive as well. Some institutes said “we'll forward your details to translators”, but believe it or not, at least one simply replied “we don't have translators”.
We also sent our message to professional translation associations. It is difficult to determine who successful this will be in the long run, as some of these may have simply forwarded our details to their members. A few had responded, and no negative responses were received.
Translators' jobs boards
Our latest effort to get translators has targeted translators' jobs forums such as ProZ.com. We advertised our first project, FreeMind, on the front page, but got three replies. Our current method is to contact translators individually with a generic message and an unsubscribe option. This has been very successful.
At the moment, we have had positive reaction from people willing to translate the following languages:
It remains to be seen how many of these translators actually help to translate. Remember, even if you don't have time, get a few friends together and work as a team.