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Workshop Submission for WikiSym 08

Submitted via email to the Wiki Symposium Workshops and Panels committee by Seb Paquet, April 1st, 2008 (no joke)


Workshop on Wikis and Cross-Lingual Communication and Collaboration

(working title)

submitted to the 2008 Wiki Symposium, Porto, Portugal, September 2008


This is a proposal to hold a workshop on wikis and cross-lingual communication and collaboration at the WikiSym 2008 conference ( The workshop should appeal to anyone with an interest in global, multilingual collaboration, as well as specialists such as translators and terminologists, and authors who hope that their work can reach other language communities. The event format will be modeled on Open Space. Authors are encouraged to submit extended papers to the main WikiSym conference, but this is not compulsory.

Workshop Description

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 create silos and 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 started 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 efforts to make it work with multilingual communities in a way that offsets the natural tendency to separate languages. 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.

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
  • 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

We invite work at all stages of development. There will be two ways of entering 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 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. They will be reviewed by the workshop organizers and published on the WikiSym '08 website.

Extended papers describe applied systems, empirical results or theoretically grounded positions. All papers are expected to follow the general WikiSym submission guidelines. 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.

Event Format

The proposed 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 (~60 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 (~60 mins)
  • 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).
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 3rd, 2008
Submission deadline for Position papers: June 7th, 2008
Notification to Participants : June 25th, 2008
Final Revised Papers Due: July 19th, 2008


Program Committee

Same as the WikiSym 2008 Program Committee - see

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