TLhub collaborative translation platformDesign and development
The European Society of Authors (SEuA) is an organization whose goal is to promote translation networks in the literary circles across Europe, and contribute to the building of a European identity.
In this quality, the TLhub project is a flagship initiative, defined as a digital social platform aiming at facilitating non-automatic and literary translation. Ultimately, TLhub’s goal is to give authors, readers, publishers and translators advanced features for processing, managing, sharing and following their activities. Its priority is to allow high-quality translations and facilitate collaboration between translators.
Digital has caused many shifts in the literary sphere, bringing along threats, but also many opportunities – notably the ability to collaborate and exchange with larger circles, including with foreign-language interlocutors. And TLhub fits into this dynamic.
Aimed at an audience not necessarily technophile, TLhub’s success lies in its capacity to convince the potential users of its added value by focusing on the key element: the text.
The beta version developed by af83 should also allow to put in place a system that will be the basis for the future of the project, while validating the main features and architectural principles.
METHODOLOGY AND OUPUTS
TLhub was a complex project, dealing with the processing of an entire translation chain involving many different stakeholders – authors, publishers, and readers. So our teams worked on the different levels:
- Business – implementation of specific workflows and profiles within the global treatment of a literary work’s translation.
- Technical – implementation of an API limiting the dependencies to text standards and allowing connection to third-party functional and technical systems, with strong notions of interoperability and scalability of the main system.
- User eXperience – promoting ease of use on top of a complex technical and functional basis. This represents the point of convergence of the two other levels.
We developed the beta version of the platform focusing on the main features, including importing and translating texts, working in teams with other community members thanks to the collaboration tools offered, and exporting the results for publishing.
- A close collaboration between the af83 and TLhub teams, thanks to our proven agile methodologies.
- A unique community platform for collaborative translation of literary work.
- A “writer” module that allows for optimizing text writing, segmentation and alignment.
- A multilingual interface that can be translated online by the users, with support for the most complex languages such as Arabic or Hebrew read from right to left.
- An interface allowing to work comfortably with the text, with particular attention paid to the choice of fonts, similar to those used in actual books, and the display readability.
- A tool that meets the intellectual property issues and guarantees the author rights on the downloaded content thanks to a certificate system.
- A modular system consisting of a web client optimized for the display and translation of literary works, and a tool for the administration and management of the life cycle of the different works, connected to a well-documented and scalable REST API.