Action Translate: supporting students in translation volunteering

Margherita Angelucci, Harrison Marshall, Meriem Tebourbi, Joshua Paolo Seguin, Delvin Varghese, Patrick Olivier, Tom Bartindale

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference PaperResearchpeer-review


University students are well known for volunteering within non-governmental organisations (NGOs). A significant part of NGO practice is the production of documents that communicate their work to local communities and international stakeholders. However, organisations often struggle to resource translations of these documents, resulting in the exclusion of the very same communities that they want to reach. Although many students are multilingual and are willing to volunteer their time and language skills, there are few structured opportunities configured for such non-professional translation of content in the short-term mode that would fit into the student pattern of availability. We developed Action Translate to specifically support these motivated, non-professional translators within the volunteering constraints of university life. Action Translate leverages machine translation post-editing to support teams of volunteers working on NGO translation projects online. Through analysis of a real-world deployment, we discuss how digital systems can be developed to better support student volunteer translators, specifically in building collegiate interaction and identity as translators for a cause.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationProceedings of the 2023 CHI Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems
EditorsStephanie Mueller, Julie R. Williamson, Max L. Wilson
Place of PublicationNew York NY USA
PublisherAssociation for Computing Machinery (ACM)
Number of pages14
ISBN (Electronic)9781450394215
Publication statusPublished - 2023
EventInternational Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems 2023 - , Germany
Duration: 23 Apr 202328 Apr 2023 (Website) (Proceedings)


ConferenceInternational Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems 2023
Abbreviated titleCHI 2023
Internet address


  • machine translation
  • post-editing
  • translation
  • volunteering

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