Manifesto

Language service access barriers are breaking down. Commercial language services are complemented by massive community-driven service contributions. Communication with our fellow citizens anywhere in the world in our own languages does no longer depend purely on an economic rationale. This significantly contributes to equality and inclusion, and the realization of a fundamental and universal human right: the right to use our own language.

‘Language barriers’ never existed – because languages are not barriers that we need to overcome, they are one of humanity’s treasures that allow us to express who we are and to communicate with our fellow citizens. Instead, we are knocking down the barriers that so far have prevented us from accessing language services that would allow equal communication across languages. We have a right to read or to listen, to write or to speak in each of our unique and beautiful languages and to be able to communicate with our global fellow citizens – independent of economic considerations. Tens of thousands of volunteers have already started to rock ‘n roll, to shake up the status quo, to do the ‘impossible’ – to provide high quality, human language services on a large scale 24 hours a day, 365 days a year, and all that without a business case!

We have demonstrated our power to expand beyond the business case and allow a broader more comprehensive access to languages services.

We use technology to support our efforts – rather than allowing technology to determine the way we work. There is no doubt that our efforts will lead to a level of equality and inclusion never experienced before, creating a sense of pride, confidence, and energy that will empower people to lift themselves out of poverty, ignorance and dependence. The global connections that people are establishing with others are uniting the planet, and will significantly contribute to making killing fields, hunger epidemics, curable diseases, intolerable poverty, and endemic analphabetism history. Instead, these connections will lead to a better mutual understanding, to an unseen exchange of knowledge and information, and to social and economic opportunities we cannot even imagine today.

While top-down localisation efforts empower corporate globalisation, bottom-up localisation efforts expand and widen access to languages services. Combined, they address all of our cross-language communication needs. They will create a force that will make localisation accessible to all in the form and context that best suits their needs.

Let us connect our efforts and collaborate on the Translation Commons – the space where communities offer and find nonmarket-driven language services. Let’s work together to expand language services beyond a solely economic rationale. We, and our languages, are worth it!

Language Service Providers of the World – Unite!

About The Translation Commons

The Translation Commons (www.trommons.org) is an open space for communities to offer and seek free language services. The site is powered by SOLAS technologies, an open source project by The Rosetta Foundation. The project has received funding by private, corporate and public donors and contributors. Do you share our vision and passion? Then we want to hear from you: info@therosettafoundation.org.