Common Sense Advisory asked language service providers (LSPs) about their acts of charity and we received responses from nearly 130 LSPs. Our intention in recording these efforts is to encourage companies who’ve taken the initiative to share whatever they can with those in need and motivate others to act similarly. Because of the overwhelming number of responses we received, we only list two good deeds per company.
Giving to non-profits and charitable organizations
Many companies like itl Institut für technische Literatur AG, Cecilia Saenz Translations, Iolar d.o.o, Language Line Services, LIDO-LANG Technical Translations, Rheinschrift Translations, Rubric’s South African division, Jensen Localization S.L., Lexcelera, Commit, Depictum Osk, Semantix, Ingrid van Praag Translation & Interpreting, Verbatim Solutions, TripleInk, TEMA Translation, Language Lab Translation Agency, Litterae Translations, InText Translation Company, Hermes Traducciones, Folio Online, CETRA Language Solutions, Multilingual Translation Services, Tamarind Translations, beo Logisch! GmbH, beo GmbH, and SDL contributed either in cash or in kind to local or international organizations.
Others donated to non-profits for specific causes.
- To education: LSPs gave generously to help deserving students get an equal chance at getting an education. mt-g medical translation GmbH & Co KG, Acclaro, LIDO-LANG Technical Translations, Philos - Comunicação Global, Lda, Bentley Systems Inc, AD VERBUM, Alboum & Associates, Avantpage Inc, U.S. Translation Company, and e2f translations provided financial assistance to schools, and educational institutions or programs.
- To the environment: Among the companies that donated to environmental causes are mt-g medical translation GmbH & Co KG, Crestec Europe B.V., Folio Online, and Advanced Translation.
- To food banks and the homeless: Acclaro Inc., Medialocate, PassWord Europe, itl Institut für technische Literatur AG, Iolar d.o.o, Interlex Translations gave back to food banks in their local communities. CommGap made financial donations to the local homeless shelter. Covi, Wurzer & Partner - TransAlps Die Sprachdienstleister donated to asylum seekers.
- To fight disease or to help people with disabilities: E.G.B. Translations, Interpreters and Translators, Inc., Kilgray Translation Technologies, Valodu Vestnieciba, Pacific Interpreters, Cox & Co Language Management, Cecilia Saenz Translations, Mc LEHM Language Services, Around the Worldfast, Language Fusion, Language Line Services, Multi-Languages Corporation, iDISC, Teknotrans, CETRA Language Solutions, and the southern California team of Global Language Solutions contributed to hospitals and to organizations engaged in the fight against diseases like AIDS, cancer, malaria, multiple sclerosis or help people with physical disabilities.
There were also other ways in which companies gave back to their community: MultiLing USA sponsored local children’s Christmas gifts; PPI Technical Communications volunteered at an animal shelter; and Fidel Technologies arranged a blood donation drive at their organization.
Translating and interpreting for a cause
Sometimes, the best way for an LSP to reach out to the community is to do what it does best: translate or interpret, but for a cause. This is exactly how many organizations in the language services industry gave back.
ENLASO Corporation, ETLS International, Well Translated LLC, P & L Translations, Alboum & Associates, Interlex Translations, NCI Translation Center, InText Translation Company, In Every Language, CM Idiomas, Language Fusion, ALanguageBank, Multi-Languages Corporation, Yamagata Europe, Depictum Osk, and SDL Italy volunteered their skills for causes as diverse as children’s rights, children’s literature, helping sexually abused youngsters, preventing human rights abuse, promoting human rights awareness, world peace, emergency disaster relief, famine, translating adoption papers, urban sanitation, and legal aid to women. JievFusion Technologies Inc. offered its translation tool suite to Kiva at no cost.
Giving back to the industry
Yet other companies recognized the need to contribute to the language services industry itself and help it gain more awareness and attract more talent.
HTT has financed the Inttranet "Linguists of the Year" Awards since 2007. The awards recognize persons who have helped increase public awareness of the importance of linguists and languages. Similarly, BITS Private Limited instituted two awards for translators in India.
Language Connect and MultiLing held free workshops to promote career opportunities and offered internships. Language Connect also sponsored the opening of a translator training center in Nairobi, Kenya. The center is organized and run by Translators without Borders. beo Logisch! GmbH donated to an educational program for translators.
Pacific Interpreters donated to the National Board for Certified Medical Interpreters. The Royal Institute of Thailand hosted two forums on translation and localization on International Translation Day and broadcast the event via internet, radio, and satellite TV all over the world.
Non-profits, too, reach out
It was not just LSPs who engaged in charity, but also non-profit organizations both from within the industry and without that felt the need to pitch in in some way for the society.
intepretAmerica contributed to the Carl Fehlandt Memorial Scholarship Fund. The National Center for Interpretation gave back through reduced rates and donation of simultaneous interpreting equipment as well as occasional interpreter services. Universidad Europea de Madrid provided free translation services to NGOs in Spain.
Supporting Translators Without Borders
Lexcelera founded Traducteurs Sans Frontières in 1993 and Translators Without Borders in 2010 and has been donating in kind ever since. LSPs and technology vendors that contributed to Translators Without Borders are: ACCU Translation Services Ltd, Elanex, Inkrease, Kilgray Translation Technologies, Litterae Translations, Moravia, Multicorpora, Nordic Translation Industry Forum, Puretrans, Rubric, and Semantix. For a complete list of companies who donated to Translators Without Borders, please click here.
Common Sense Advisory contributed in kind to Translators Without Borders by doing research on the need for translation in Africa. This report is available as a free download. We also continue to make all our research available for free to Kiva.
Other non-profits that work for the society in the translation and localization space are the Rosetta Foundation and Found in Translation. The Rosetta Foundation supports the not-for-profit activities of the localization and translation communities. It works with those who want to provide equal access to information across languages, independent of economic or market considerations, including localization and translation companies, technology developers, not-for-profit and non-governmental organizations. Found in Translation helps homeless and low-income multilingual women achieve economic security through the use of their language skills.
New ways of giving
There were companies who tried out a few new ways of giving.
U.S. Translation Company organized a contest in which participants submitted a photo and a short caption using their translation or interpretation skills to help others. The winners got to donate their prize money to charities of their choice. The winner and the runner-up chose PROVIDE (Participatory Response Offering Vitality in Devastated Environments) and International Children’s Surgical Foundation respectively. e2f translations’ worldwide invoicing and PO processing is managed by Social Data Entry, a data processing center attached to a children’s shelter in Vietnam. e2f pays salaries of the center and makes charitable contributions. Fidel Technologies developed an English to Hindi legal dictionary and made it available to NGOs in India.
While there may be many more LSPs out there who have generously given to society, in this blog post we only list those who responded to our annual good deeds’ survey. Encouraged by their peers, we hope that more companies in the language services industry will give back to their community.