Aswarm: Transcription of audio files and English and French translations – Volunteer work

Aswarm: Transcription of audio files and English and French translations – Volunteer work

Aswarm – The Speakers is a project led by Thor Mcintyre and was commissioned originally by INSITU, a network of European festivals that specialise in arts & theatre in public space. It is a semi tourable project which works site-specifically and with local voices & relevant content at each location/host- mixed with a growing archive.

A big thank you to all the volunteers who have helped on this project – without you we couldn’t have done this! If you’d like to find out more about the individual translators, simply click on their name and you’ll be redirected to their online profile:

Alice Ashdown, Catherine Harrison, Amanda Hobson, Christina Cordaroy, Victoria Doherty, Katherine Selby, Caroline Lefeuvre, Cecilia DivettDorothée MerrickAdeline Pires, Fanny Garreau, Théophile Clouet (AJT), Caroline Thill (AJT Intern), Project Lead: Anja Jones (AJT)

French and English translations for arts & culture project

The Speakers is a project with residents of a social housing project in the suburbs of Marseille (France), which aims to give voice to their voice, life stories and opinions of the value of public space, especially in their locality. Thor conducted a series of recorded spoken interviews, which he needed to transcribe in French and then translate into English. Thor had also collected a series of English text drawn from tweets, social media and interviews conducted by human right watch with refugees, which he needed to translate into French.

As a not-for-profit organisation, the translation budget was more or less non-existent yet it was important to Thor to make as many parts of the project available in French and English to achieve the biggest possible impact. We put together a team of English and French volunteer translators who were interested in getting involved for good cause and gaining translation experience. The scope of the project involved:

  • Transcription of French audio files of interviews with locals from Marseille
  • French to English translation of the transcripts
  • English to French translation of tweets, social media messages and interviews with refugees

It was fantastic to see the enthusiasm and professionalism of the volunteers we worked with, and our own in-house team got involved as well: besides managing the overall project, we spent time helping to decipher tricky parts of the French audio files, checking the French transcripts and English translations and providing feedback to the volunteers (which is part of our volunteer scheme).

We engaged Anja Jones Translation with a quite unusual project commission for Marseille, France in September 2015, a public sound exhibition called The Speakers. This involved transcribing and translating a series of lengthy interviews we recorded with residents of the social housing projects of Marseilles. Quite a tricky task with a range of strong accents, including one with 5 women from as many different backgrounds talking heatedly on a park bench. Our task was to edit many short extracts from these recordings, so it was important that the translation matched up with the recordings. The AJT team seemed to take this in their stride and delivered a great service in a short time-frame.

In addition they also translated a series of English language Tweets into French, which is again a challenging task due to the condensed language of Twitter, where a native speaker creatively condenses a lot of info and emotive meaning into 140 characters.

AJT understood the task and delivered great results, I wouldn’t hesitate to recommend their service and in fact I have recommended their services to a European network of festival producers already.

Thor McIntyre-Burnie
Director, Aswarm

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