Over 1.8 million nonprofits and charities for donors, volunteers and funders

2020 Top-Rated Nonprofit

Translators without Borders-Us Inc.

374 pageviews

Add to Favorites

Share this Nonprofit


Volunteering Oportunities

Nonprofit Overview

Causes: International, International Development

Mission: TWB believes in a world which knows no language barriers. The US-based nonprofit works with a network of more than 30,000 volunteer translators, who have already translated over 5 million words related to COVID-19 alone. TWB also harnesses cutting-edge language technology to give power and a voice back to communities in crisis, who lack access to information in their own language. Their work benefits people who are poor, less literate, and come from under-served languages, as well as enabling other non-profits to communicate effectively when supporting people around health epidemics, disasters, women's rights and safety. For more information and to volunteer or donate, please visit: http://www.translatorswithoutborders.org or connect on Twitter at @TranslatorsWB.

Results: To date the TWB community has translated 50 million words and counting. Conservative estimates suggest that at least 25 million people have accessed the 120 medical articles TWB simplified and translated into 100 languages for the Wiki Med Project alone. TWB is also working hard to respond to COVID-19. Already TWB has translated over 5 million words of COVID-19 content into over 100 languages, is mapping languages and literacy in vulnerable regions, creating a multilingual glossary of emergency health terms and advice in 23 languages, and combating misinformation by monitoring social media in 12+ languages.

The organization has assembled and deployed teams to work directly on language capacity in the field, most recently in Bangladesh, Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) and Nigeria. In Nigeria, for example, TWB supported 25 organizations to translate over 1,600 products totaling close to 600,000 words, as well as conducted trainings in humanitarian interpretation, translation, and data collection for over 500 people. In 2017, 23% of Rohingya refugees felt they had information on what assistance they could receive; one year later, thanks in part to TWB, 84% felt they knew what assistance was available to them.

TWB investigated language barriers in areas of DRC affected by Ebola to support responders to engage more effectively with people at risk. TWB is also leading the humanitarian community in helping people to understand their right to assistance free from sexual exploitation and abuse. We have simplified, translated and field verified the six principles for the prevention of sexual exploitation and abuse into 100 languages.

TWB has also launched Gamayun, the language equality initiative, an open source platform intended to apply cutting-edge language technologies to improve rapid communications in languages that are currently marginalized. It is a collaborative effort with tech partners, native-speaker communities, NGOs, and content creators and owners, to use text and speech data to automate translation in under-served languages. Using a repeatable, scalable model, TWB and its coalition of partners are piloting three languages to test and refine the process, with the aim of bringing 10 underserved languages online over the next 5 years.

Target demographics: people who need vital information in a language and format they can understand so that they can make informed choices about their lives.

Direct beneficiaries per year: Over 200 nonprofit partners around the world.

Geographic areas served: countries all around the world

Programs: supporting humanitarian responses with language support in northeast Nigeria, Bangladesh (Rohingya refugee response), the Democratic Republic of Congo, Mozambique, the global COVID-19 response.

Community Stories

12 Stories from Volunteers, Donors & Supporters

Rosh K.

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 4

I had the great privilege and honor of working with TWB - as a researcher lead and as a trainer. The staff in both Country offices and in headquarters were a delight to work with and bring with them great expertise, passion, and professionalism. Their commitment to the core values of the organization and collaborative attitude made working with them smooth and allowed for it to be a learning opportunity.
The admin and finance team also ensured that all payments were made on time and logistical support was provided to ensure smooth completion of the assignment despite all kinds of challenges, particularly with COVID 19.



Rating: 5

My team and I at TBWA\Dublin have had the privilege of working with the team at Translators without Borders this year.

We have worked alongside them to create advertising campaigns to spread the message of how important the work they do is, specifically the use of their expertise to address the urgent language challenges of Covid-19.

They are real innovators in the non-profit space, always looking for new and effective ways to carry out their work and never settling for less. Their use of data to drive change and implementation of digital strategies to break-down language barriers is a key example of this. Through in-depth research, innovative work and an unequivocal level of care, they are proof that hard work pays off.

Aside from the amazing work they do, they are an incredibly kind and diligent collective who are a joy to work with. The passion, ambition and dedication of this team is remarkable –and infectious. It's even hard to keep up with them sometimes as they simply do so much!

Looking forward to seeing what these guys do in 2021 and far beyond – watch this space!

Amy Tumelty, Social Media & Content Specialist at TBWA\Dublin.



Rating: 5

People have asked me over the last few years, “why do you support Translators without Borders?”, and I’ve always struggled to give a coherent answer. My responses have generally been some combination of puzzlement and a rhetorical “why wouldn’t I?!”.

Over time, I’ve given the question more consideration, and the more I’ve thought about it, the better I’ve been able to formulate an answer:

It makes sense to me... That’s it really. It just makes sense to me.

It makes sense to me as a part of Ludejo, a multilingual communication company based out of the Netherlands. It makes sense to me as a member of the localization industry. It makes sense to me on a basic human level. It just makes sense!

Our mission statement at Ludejo is:
“The transfer of information and knowledge so that it can be available to, and understood by, everyone regardless of location, language field, educational level, and culture.”

Every human being should have access to information, especially in times of disaster or emergency, in a language they understand. I cannot begin to imagine the intense horror of finding myself in a situation where my words no longer have meaning, and my ears can no longer decipher others' speech. And that is before I start to think about the earth-shattering reasons that have led to my world falling apart. Translators without Borders just makes sense.
The people at TWB are far too humble to ever say it, but they are heroes. We are proud to be associated with them.



Rating: 5

I started volunteering for TWB during the first COVID-19 lockdown after years of being too ill to work. Volunteering with TWB has helped me deal with coronavirus in the world around me, it has given me confidence, helped me make friends, and has helped improve my mental health. I feel like I am doing something worthwhile with my time. TWB is helping to give a voice to the Latin American community to enable them to participate in medical research on a worldwide level. To enable them to express their issues, needs and concerns and make them known to people who would otherwise have remained in the dark. I am grateful to be a part of this community and hope to continue volunteering with them for many more years.



Rating: 5

I have been providing volunteer translations to Translators without Borders (TWB) since 2013, and it has been a really gratifying experience. I have seen the organisation grow over the years to add different linguistic services and initiatives to fulfil the information and communication needs of communities.

I love volunteering with TWB for many reasons. First, I believe that through translations we are enabling people to communicate, and communication is not only about information and data; it's mainly about people, about their feelings, needs, fears, hopes. Through its work, TWB is promoting the rights to information and communication.

Second, behind their amazing work, there is a wonderful hard-working group of people that are always nice, helpful, respectful, and grateful of the time and effort that the community of volunteers dedicates to the different linguistic tasks.

Finally, and on a more personal note, I find it very fulfilling to use my language skills to help different humanitarian organisations achieve their goals, such as helping people to know how to keep safe during a pandemic or helping kids keep learning while schools are closed.

It’s a pleasure to volunteer with TWB!



Rating: 5

इस संगठन ने मुझे उस समाज को वापस कुछ देने के भाव से हासिल संतुष्टि को महसूस करने का अवसर दिया, जो बहुत सुखकर भाव है. आपको यह जानकर बहुत दुख होता है समाज में बहुत कुछ अजीब सा चल रहा है, संस्थाएं, लोग सभी अपने एजेंडे को बढ़ावा देने के लिए साम, दाम, दंड और भेद सभी उपायों से लगे हुए हैं. ऐसे में आपको अपने हुनर से जुड़े लोगों की एक संस्था मिलती है जो निस्वार्थ भाव से बिना किसी वाद (ism) का पक्षपोषण करते हुए, समाज की समस्याओं को सुलझाने के लिए प्रयासरत है.

मुझे खुशी है कि मुझे इस संस्था से जुड़ने, इसका हिस्सा बनने और अपनी भाषा में अपने मानव समाज के लिए योगदान करने का अवसर मिला.

सभी निस्वार्थ, एजेंडा मुक्त सामाजिक कार्यकर्ताओं का हार्दिक धन्यवाद.



Rating: 5

I joined Translators Without Borders (TWB) in March, as a volunteer translator. It was around that time I heard about coronavirus for the first time. Then, the world came to the realization that we were facing a pandemic. No one knew what to do. We were all caught off guard. But one thing was clear: the world needed information on how to deal with this virus, and on how people could protect themselves and others.

Before the lockdown began, I was looking for a job. Suddenly, I was expected to stay home, unemployed, so I wanted to help somehow. When you think of a pandemic, you think of doctors and nurses saving lives, or you think of a brilliant team of researchers finding a cure. I have none of those skills, but I realized I could help by translating Covid-19 related projects into Portuguese. So I devoted all my free time to volunteering with TWB.

In fact, multiple borders were closed across the world - but not on TWB. There, translators from all over the world could enter, at any hour, choose a project and translate it into their native language. Volunteers like me were able to both stay at home and make a difference.

TWB's mission is to provide people access to vital information in the language they speak. Most of us haven't lived through a time when information - reliable information - was so precious as it is now. The Covid-19 global crisis came to change everyone's lives. Through TWB, volunteers like me were given a chance to play an important social role in the world. In fact, many volunteers helped bridge language gaps in countries whose native languages do not have as many speakers as English or Spanish do, for instance. Languages you may have never heard about, like Tigrinya, Dari, Pashto, Bengali, Hausa, Sylheti, Amharic, etc. Those heroic volunteers devoted their free time to translating precious information that was not available in their countries' local language, thus saving lives.

Having the chance to be a TWB volunteer translator during such an unexpected crisis helped me create a meaningful routine and to stay positive at a very uncertain time. It also turned me into a much more confident and resilient person in general. It gave me a purpose. I cherish the whole community of TWB volunteers  as well as the TWB team. TWB is composed of industrious, generous and kind people, people who are always willing to help each other and to make the world a better place. A world "where knowledge knows no language barriers". It is my privilege and honor to work beside all of them.

Thank you for everything, TWB! :)



Rating: 5

When I started volunteering for TWB a couple of years ago, I could not imagine how life changing this experience would be for me.
In the complex and tough world we live in, and in all the current humanitarian hotspots, TWB is a beacon of light for people who need life saving information in a language they understand. TWB is committed to this cause as an organisation and the whole team is fully dedicated to working around the clock as necessary to do what it takes to support our partner organisations with their efforts. Beyond the translation of many materials, TWB also seeks to innovate and harness the power of new technologies to bring information in the right and rarest of languages to the most remote places on Earth, for example by using chatbots like our Uji. During the COVID-19 pandemic, TWB has worked tirelessly to give communities around the world the right information in their own language.
There is a lot of energy in the organisation and its large network of volunteers and it contributes a lot to humanitarian project planning, community engagement and advocacy by highlighting the key role language plays in successful humanitarian efforts.
I am happy to work hard as a volunteer, and in my volunteer role of French Language Associate, to bring my contribution to the organisation and make our Earth a better place with the skills I have. I learn a lot, I give a lot of myself with joy, and I love the TWB team who is always responsive, positive, encouraging and caring.
As a volunteer, I could not dream of a better organisation to work with. There is much to do, but the sky is the limit!



Rating: 5

I have been a volunteer with TWB for about 8 months, and I am greatly inspired by the grand role that the organisation plays to help spread crucial information among communities and by its ability to reach its goal for a world without language barriers. I am also amazed by TWB's approach on how to always encourage translators and appreciate their work. Volunteering with TWB is one of the most important experiences I have ever had, and it has such an impact on me that I work almost everyday with them as if it becomes a responsibility, a commitment and an essentiel part of my day.



Rating: 5

I have been a volunteer for TWB for 10 months, and I can tell that this experience is the best one I've ever had. TWB works on providing people with important information in their languages in order to spread knowledge and protect them from any harm that is causedby lack of knowing other languages. That role was clearly recognized during COVID-19 response. I was also amazed by the way they organize their work and follow up with every detail. Whatever I say will not be enough; I just truly believe that they deserve more support in order to keep working on achieving their target in removing all language barriers and spreading necessary information wherever they are needed.

7 Iris S.1


Rating: 5

Nearly 3 years ago now, I was looking to improve my work as a translator. When I joined TWB, I quite clearly noticed their professionalism (as I got a definitely good onboarding and training, as well as friendly feedbacks). Of course, at that time I wasn't supposed to know COVID-19 pandemic would occur in 2019-2020....

7 Maysa O.


Rating: 5

I am very proud to have volunteered with TWB as an English Arabic Translator and Editor over several years since 2015. Joining TWB has influenced my life in a great way by bringing me closer to the front lines of humanitarian action, and reinforcing my belief that in peace and in distress the most vital role we can play as humans is facilitating understanding among people. I am fortunate to have been able to provide translations to key organizations that have helped thousands of people in vulnerable situations. TWB continues to help people around the world by providing valuable information and facilitating communication in a wide range of languages.