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Breaking the Language Barrier: WeRobotics Partners with Beluga Linguistics and Crowdin

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April 23rd, 2024

Beluga Crowdin partnership blog

The Flying Labs Network spans over 40 countries across Africa, Latin America, the Caribbean, and Asia/Pacific, and thus is home to the speakers of an extensive list of languages. This diversity is among our greatest strengths, and we hold dear the wealth of  wisdom and creativity that arises when local experts from vastly different corners of the world learn from one another. The flip side of this, however, is that effective collaboration and knowledge sharing, core tenets of the Network’s ethos, can sometimes be impeded by language barriers. Language, after all, can set us apart just as it can bring us together.

To offer an example, over the years, WeRobotics has amassed a vast repository of invaluable resources, including guides, workflows, toolkits, and a wide variety of technology, operations, and strategy materials, all available on a knowledge-sharing platform accessible to all Flying Labs. However, these materials have been predominantly English-centric, and although the Network’s official language is English, it matters that all Flying Labs can reap the full benefits of this platform, including those in regions where languages such as Spanish, French, and many more hold sway. 

Language is incontrovertibly central to any effective localization efforts. Without it, we cannot talk about the Power of Local. A significant part of why local experts are so effective at bringing change to their communities is that shared language cultivates trust; if you can understand our language then you can understand our needs. As the world becomes more and more interconnected, collaboration and inclusivity rely on the accessibility of information. Yes, the internet has made available more information than anyone could hope to consume even a fraction of, but how useful is it to a community if they cannot find it in their language? 

Cognizant of the pressing need for linguistic inclusivity within the context of an Inclusive Networks Model, WeRobotics, together with various Flying Labs, embarked on a journey to enhance the accessibility of information within the Network. In 2022, we assembled a working group to manually translate some resources to French and Spanish. However, this method soon proved unsustainable for our lean organizational setup, and the need for specialized partnerships and tools for the purposes of translation became apparent. Our new partnerships with Beluga Linguistics and Crowdin offer a timely and exciting means to propel this initiative forward. 

This partnership has opened our eyes to realize the power of translation automation in our localization efforts. Guided by the deep insights and expertise of the Beluga Linguistics team, we are already using Crowdin to automate the translation of 62 resources used by Flying Labs, in a process that is three times more efficient, and faster.

— Kenn Ramah, Community Coordinator, WeRobotics

True localization, then, requires that we enhance the capacity of local communities to solve the challenges affecting them by facilitating knowledge and resource sharing in diverse languages. This belief forms the bedrock of the exciting partnership between WeRobotics, Beluga Linguistics, and Crowdin that is poised to transform the translation activities of the Flying Labs Network.

Sonja and her team at WeRobotics are on a mission to empower people to make a positive impact on their local communities through the use of drone technology. It is an honor for us to be part of the WeRobotics and FlyingLabs story and offer them this extra power to bring their mission local. We provided empowerment training to the team, guiding them on how to utilize the platform effectively, and assisted with its seamless implementation. Serhey and his team at Crowdin are fantastic partners to collaborate with. Their support and the flexibility of the platform make it the perfect fit for our needs.

— Jan Hinrichs, CEO, Beluga Linguistics

With the language localization expertise of the Beluga Linguistics team and AI-powered localization software provided by Crowdin, we anticipate remarkable leaps forward in the efficiency and quality of our translation endeavors as well as the expansion of our knowledge sharing platform’s linguistic capabilities across multiple languages. Over the past three months, Beluga Linguistics has worked closely with us to begin the process of automating the translation process and improve our technical capacity to utilize Crowdin software. Needless to say, we are thrilled at the potential for the Flying Labs Network to step into an even more interconnected and inclusive future!

I was really excited about this project. Firstly, because I love what WeRobotics does, and secondly, because of the excitement around the introduction of cutting-edge localization workflows that combine AI translation and human review. Honestly, Beluga has done all the heavy lifting here. Jan is a very hands-on leader, which makes working together a breeze.

— Serhiy Dmytryshyn, CEO, Crowdin

We are deeply thankful to Beluga Linguistics and Crowdin for their generous donations of expertise and in-kind resources. This collaboration is fuelled by a recognition of language as a tool of empowerment and a shared vision to expand the space for local experts to drive change in their communities. As we embark on this path together, we celebrate the power of language to unite, inspire, and transform.



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