Call for Participation - Babel Wiki Workshop '08: Cross-Language Collaboration


Babel Wiki Workshop: Cross-Language Collaboration

An Open Space workshop

part of the

2008 Wiki Symposium (WikiSym)

Porto, Portugal, September 8-10 2008

Workshop meeting notes and proceedings

See: Babel Wiki Workshop '08: Cross-Language Collaboration

Other related pages:


The Internet has by now become a truly global and multilingual community: non-English speakers presently account for two-thirds of Internet users. Yet, while dozens of languages are being used simultaneously on the same network, the language barriers make it difficult for connection and collaboration to happen across languages.

Recognizing that global projects and initiatives are growing in number, and that more and more people are working daily in multilingual environments, it appears that the "wiki way" - a philosophy of tool-building that creates open, collaborative Web-based environments - might show promise in realizing the potential of collaboration among members of different language communities.

As projects around the world are demonstrating, the Internet allows for distributed efforts such as collaborative translation of content ranging from books to blogs, video subtitling, multilingual documentation, and collaborative localization of software.

Wiki technology itself has been the focus of adaptation efforts to better serve multilingual communities. Using wikis or other Internet tools, communities of authors and (professional or amateur) translators and terminologists are coming together to work on translating texts, or to create shared linguistic resources that can facilitate translation work.

Workshop Goal

The goal of this workshop is to explore how wikis and the wiki way might impact, and be influenced by, multilingual collaboration and language work. It aims to bring together people with an interest in multilingual collaboration, as well as specialists such as translators and terminologists, and authors who hope to find ways for their work to reach other language communities.

The workshop invites full and short papers as well as position papers.


The focus of the workshop includes, but is not restricted to:

  • Collaborative translation methods
  • Collaborative translation projects
  • Collaborative construction of translation resources
  • Multilingual wikis and translation of wiki content
  • Managing links and changes in multilingual wikis
  • The interconnection of language communities involved in global projects
  • Collaborative software localization
  • Wikis in multilingual organizations
  • Wikis for second language learning and teaching
  • Wikis for language design and documentation
  • Wikis and machine translation

Requirements for Participation

We invite work at all stages of development. There are two ways to enter/apply for the workshop. One is to submit a position paper to the workshop, and the other is to submit an extended paper for review by the WikiSym Program Committee and eventual publication in the conference proceedings.

Position papers (up to 2 pages) should describe the prospective participant's background, interest, and current projects in relevant areas. Do not hesitate to include links to other documents or sites. Position papers may be written in either English, French, or Spanish, and they will be reviewed by the workshop organizers and published on the WikiSym '08 website. They should be submitted in PDF or plain text, and sent to babelwikiworkshop at

Extended papers describe applied systems, empirical results or theoretically grounded positions. They should follow the general WikiSym submission guidelines and procedure. Full papers with up to 10 pages and short papers and demos with up to 5 pages are accepted for the workshop.

Extended papers will be peer-reviewed by the WikiSym review committee. Accepted full or short papers will be included in the WikiSym proceedings, regrouped under the workshop umbrella. In case an extended paper is rejected by the WikiSym review committee, it will then be reviewed the workshop committee, and if accepted, will be published on the workshop wiki.

See the schedule below for submission deadlines.

Event Format

The workshop will have the following format, which borrows from Open Space methodology.

Lightning talks (~ 30-60 mins depending on the number of papers)
  • The people whose position paper or extended paper was accepted (either by the WikiSym program committee or the workshop commitee) are invited to present it as a 5-minute lightning talk.

CardStorming (~ 15 mins)
  • Attendees are then handed sticky note pads and invited to write down themes, challenges, opportunities, etc.... relevant to the theme of collaborative wiki-style cross-lingual communication. They post them onto a blank poster, trying to post similar themes near each other.
  • When attendees run out of ideas, they collaboratively start moving the yellow stickies around to create clusters of issues.
  • When the clustering has become somewhat stable, clusters are labeled, and assigned particular locations.

Breakout discussion (~ 2h)
  • Participants then each move to the location corresponding to the cluster they are most interested in.
  • Lively discussion ensues, and a note-taker records a summary on the workshop wiki (which could be a section of the WS08 wiki).
  • Note: 20 years of experience with Open Space teaches us that when people form groups centered around the sub-topic they are most interested in, lively discussion naturally follows.

Conclusion (~ 20 mins)
  • A person in each group presents a 2-min summary of what was said in his group.
  • The workshop concludes; the papers, and minutes of the breakout sessions are published on the workshop wiki.

Important dates

Submission deadline for Extended papers (short or full): May 10th, 2008
Submission deadline for Position papers: July 31st, 2008 (extended)
Notification to Participants : August 15th, 2008
Final Revised Papers Due: August 31st, 2008

About the organizers

Alain Désilets and Sébastien Paquet have been investigating multilingual wikis since 2005 and have authored/coauthored several papers on the topic, one of which was presented at the 2006 Wiki Symposium. Alain Désilets has also facilitated several collaborative workshops since 2004, including two that related to the theme of translation the wiki way.

Xavier de Pedro has been involved localizing and internationalizing some free software packages since 2004, as well as doing research on the educational usage of Wikis. In addition, he is a member of the Editorial Board of the international Documentation for Tikiwiki CMS/Groupware, which includes more than 2000 of Wiki pages in several languages.

All three organizers are founding members of the wiki-translation community.

More information and contact details:

Program Committee

Same as the WikiSym 2008 Program Committee - see

List of attendees



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