Lingua Editors Tasks

Welcome to the Lingua Editors guide. This is a reference document that outlines specific tasks for Lingua editors or co-editors working across all languages. Please contact the Lingua Manager if you have any questions. Please check out the rest of our Global Voices Lingua Guides.


Lingua editors perform a number of jobs that encompasses editorial tasks, community tasks and general management tasks.

We provide a quick overview below, and detail some of these tasks in this page.

Editorial tasks

  • Reviewing, editing and publishing translations by members of the team – editors are responsible for final quality and accuracy of translations (Note: this does not apply to translations into English, which falls under Newsroom editors’ responsibilities).
  • Correcting translations in case of changes in original posts.
  • Keeping the theme translations updated.
  • Keeping the home page interesting, by making good use of the widgets by adding:
    • Facebook, Twitter and other services badges to the sidebar (Google Plus, Tumblr, etc..)
    • Update GV Settings boxes for local versions of Wikipedia, localized Creative Commons licence, etc..
    • A widget to your local version of the translation application form
    • A widget that showcase your Lingua partners.
    • A widget that showcase you as a Lingua Editor(s) so people can contact you.
  • Translating any special pages requested.
  • Making sure the goal of 15 translations a month is met.

Community tasks

  • Welcoming new translators – people who contact you directly and people who come through our application form – by contacting them, creating accounts in WordPress, providing training, and welcoming them to the google group.
  • Recruit new volunteers whenever necessary.
  • Publishing comments, reply to them when appropriate, keep the conversation going and spammers out.
  • Motivating existing translators and keeping the sense of community
    • Thank your translators
    • Be their friend
    • Help them in whatever you can help them with: job referrals, technical challenges, etc..
  • Promoting Global Voices in your language to the external community, and thank includes:
    • Giving interviews
    • Speaking in events
    • Using social media to spread the stories.
    • Maintaining relationships with local journalists who might be interested in the Lingua site content
    • Maintaining relationships with the local NGOs community, this can be a potential partner for holding local and regional conferences.

General management

  • Communicating regularly with Lingua managers, let them know if:
    • You have any success to report
    • You are experiencing issues that will limit your ability to contribute and/or need help.
  • Providing an update every three months about how things are going for your Lingua site and community, this update goes to the Lingua Board Report.
  • Taking part in the editors group and occasional staff meetings (online via Skype, Hangouts, Whatsapp etc, or face to face).
  • Finding and training a new editor to replace you, or co-editor to share, if you decide to leave the position, or have someone else to help.



There are many tools that have been used to recruit new translators. If you need help to recruit new translators, please talk to the Lingua Manager.

Starting in the end of 2011, Global Voices in English and some Lingua sites adopted an application form that has proved to be very successful, help editors to keep track of new volunteers. It is easy to set one up for your website, ask the Lingua Manager.

Please note that Lingua editors are not encouraged to recruit authors – if a translator expresses interest in creating content, the relevant language or regional author should get involved in the recruiting process, and Lingua editors can facilitate this but not recruit on their own.

Translator's sites

Some websites can be really helpful to find like minded translators. One of them is a website [Translations for Progress], whose mission is:

to facilitate communication within the global grass roots community and to create opportunities for language students and professionals to get involved in social issues.

Commercial sites for professional translators that allow posting of pro-bono jobs can also be helpful. Explore [proz], [Translators Cafe] and if you need to recruit new translators, please talk to the Lingua Manager, as GV has accounts in various sites.

Translation schools

Partnership with translation schools, as well as academic bodies (Universities and colleges), offers translators a great opportunity to have some hands-on experience at the same time that they build a portfolio to showcase their work. Global Voices in French and Global Voices in German have had this experience. Another alternative is to welcome translators during their internship.

Using the Lingua site

You can create a page to recruit volunteers for your site, as well as translate the volunteer FAQ and application form pages, and feel free to add a text widget with a call to volunteers linking to these resources, making it easy for future volunteers to see and apply. You can also create a post from time to time, under Lingua Announcements. Check the Global Voices in Portuguese recruiting page out

Ask help from bloggers

Many translators blog about translation – including our own volunteers – why not leave friendly comments in their blogs asking them to promote our project and blog about volunteering for your Lingua site. They can also use their own social media channels to forward our calls for volunteers. Often, volunteers come out of readers and followers.

Use social networks

Explore the potential of the Twitter and Facebook to advertise volunteer positions: if they follow us, the chances are that they are already interested in what we do anyway! You can also ask Twitter followers to RT calls for volunteers.


This is the biggest challenge for any organisation that works with volunteers: how to keep people engaged and motivated? Communication is key here, as well as listening to them and valuing their opinions and suggestions. If they offer help, do accept it! In addition to these basic points, here are a few ideas. And in case you need help, even if just to understand how to keep them motivated, don't hesitate to ask and even invite suggestions and feedback. It is important that volunteers know that they all have a role in co-creating Lingua.

Set goals

The minimum goal for Lingua sites is the translation of 15 posts a month, so it is good to be open and explain to the community about goals that need to be met. You could also set individual goals for volunteers, such as one post a month and lead by example and follow the goals too! This should not take much time, and would keep them engaged. It is important that you follow up on those, but also let volunteers know they are expected these in advance when they join. If your community likes healthy competition, you can also write a weekly email with the team's production, showing how many posts each volunteer translated.

Share the work

An interesting idea is to have a more decentralised approach to leadership, having roles within the team and giving volunteers responsibility and a title: sub-editors, subject specialists, community engagement heroes, trainers, etc. You can make a leadership page to showcase them. Volunteers feel important and valuable in co-creating Lingua! Ask the Lingua Manager for more details on how to decentralize.

Use your group

Each Lingua site needs to have a group, preferable a Google group to:

  • hold all of its volunteers and editors
  • make most of it by instigating interesting conversations
  • share stats and info about how your Lingua is going,
  • show gratitude for those who translated in the past month/week/etc.
  • introduce new people to the list, and ask members to welcome them,
  • make weekly suggestions of posts to be translated,

It does not need to be only work, though. The Lingua list can be a fun space to share interesting content outside GV: jobs, nice articles about translation or other issues, funny blogs, cat pictures, etc.

Introduce volunteers to GV

Make sure everyone is in your own group, but don't forget to invite people to join others GV [Google groups], to give them a sense of the larger community, and integrate them with GV goals and aspirations. Everyone who contributes to Global Voices in any capacity should be a member of the “GV Community” Group.

Please ask them to subscribe to any groups they feel draw to, providing information about their affiliation to your Lingua site. One way to do have gentle reminders is to forward important emails and announcements from GV-Community list, and use the opportunity to invite people to join these mailing lists, so that they see more activity.

Provide feedback

Being responsive and provide individual feedback are key to keep high level of motivation among volunteers. Most people will appreciate feedback on their translations, as this is the way they learn. You can also get to know your volunteers, what they like to translate and suggest specific posts for them to translate based on their interests, when you see something that “just looks like them”.

Interview your volunteers

Every now and then we use the Blogger Profiles category to interview one of our volunteers, and more often than not, their enthusiasm for Global Voices and the sense of importance of their work shines through. There could not be any better way to promote volunteering and inspire readers to join us. See an interview with Elizabeth Rivera as an example. Feel free to interview your deserving volunteers and don't forget to ask them why they translate for Global Voices. You can also add a note encouraging people to apply and link to the Application Forms or Get involved Pages.

Use the quotes

Use the quotes system to display quotes by your current volunteers, to congratulate them on any relevant achievements, etc. You can also use quotes to highlight team achievements (most read translations), and show gratitude for volunteers’ contributions!

Meet volunteers

Global Voices in Turkish meetup in 2015

Global Voices in Turkish meetup in 2015

One of the best way to welcome and engage contributors is to meet them in person and talk face to face. Every two years, Global Voices organise Citizen Media Summits, a community get together for five days of planning, plotting and fun. Meeting on a more regular basis is a luxury that only those who live in the same corner of the world can enjoy, so feel free to organise local hangouts, online and offline, for Global Voices community in your city. You can have meetings for volunteers only, or invite also invite fans and friends (better choose a very large venue!) for a party feel.

You can also connect with GVers from all over the world if you are travelling. If your community members live in different places around are scattered across the globe, consider having regular Skype calls or Google hangouts.


Websites are more fun with readers, and communities are great with motivated members!

Global Voices as a whole has great presence at Social Networking sites and Lingua editors too have a number of communication tools at their disposal to help promote their site and build a sense of community among readers and members.

Social media offers great promotion opportunities. Facebook, Twitter and other social media accounts are the responsibility of the Lingua editor or individual volunteers chosen by the Lingua editor. Global Voices encourages standardised presentation and graphics, but creativity is welcome.

Share This

Help to promote translations using the new ‘Share This’ tools below post content and adds a similar box at the top right of posts. The goal is to help our visitors promote our content as easily as possible. The new system uses the Facebook ‘Recommend’ button which is functionally the same as ‘Like’ buttons. It also uses Twitter's official ‘Tweet button’.


When setting up a GV twitter account please set up the style and colors so it looks nice. For the standard GV Twitter style see the GV Twitter Template Guide.


There are two basic ways to go about promoting your site on Facebook: the pages and community resources. Talk to the Lingua Manager if you need help to manage the page or get started. Remember that you can also click on ‘Like’ on your best translations, and motivate translators to do so with their own translations.

Google plus

As many people move from facebook, this is another possibility adopted by many Lingua sites.


Lingua editors are welcome to offer daily, weekly or monthly – or even special occasion – newsletters to their readers. Before embarking on this, It is necessarily to bear in mind that promising a newsletter is a big commitment that demands some time from editors or from volunteers acting as a digest editor in charge of preparing the information. Perhaps a good idea would be start it very slowly, primarily subscribing the internal community and close friends, to see how it goes and if you manage to keep it up on a regular basis.

We are working on facilitating using MailChimp for all sites, as it helps you design email newsletters, share them on social networks, integrate with services you already use, and track your results. It's like your own personal publishing platform.

An alternative to a newsletter is a automated RSS-to-email services, as used by Advocacy, and RuNet Echo. GV Italian also offers a version of their newsletter on Facebook using the docs feature.

Lingua Content

Lingua sites are centered on translations from Global Voices, but on special occasions editors can write non editorial posts that help build relationships with readers. For further information, please check the Lingua Content.

The Lingua Manager has final say over the suitability of Lingua content for publication. If you would like to post content that does not fit perfect with Lingua Announcements standards please contact the English site Managing Editor, Sahar Ghazi, to discuss it.

Please note that this is different from Decentralised Publishing

Change in leadership

Changes in the Lingua leadership is a natural, expected part of the lifecycle of a Lingua site, considering that it is a very demanding yet volunteer position. Changes are often positive: new editors often bring new ideas and a breath of fresh air to the site and community.

Over the years, volunteers have taken in turns to manage the community as a solo Lingua editors or as part of a team. Some sites have a collective of volunteers sharing tasks and responsibilities. When it is time for a change, whatever model it is, we expect current editors to help in the transition by identifying a new editor or group of co-editors and training them, completing the cycle.

On rare occasions, when the current editor has stopped publishing and, more importantly, communicating with Lingua community and management, the Lingua Manager will consider that the editor is no longer interested in the position. After one month of unjustified absence followed by interruption in communication, we will need to seek an alternative solution.

This section is a checklist for a smooth transition, and lists the steps that need to be taken by current Lingua editors and Lingua managers, as well as new Lingua Editors or co-Editors who join forces.

For Current Editors

  • Let the Lingua Manager know about your intention to leave or hire a co-editor as soon as you decide.
  • Invite a co-editor to share or a new editor to replace you (this will usually be a community member)
  • Upgrade new editor account to admin
  • Talk through the daily tasks of your site
  • Introduce the new editor to this page
  • Give the new editor admin rights to any social media you use
  • Give manager rights to your Lingua mailing list
  • Introduce new editor to the Lingua managers
  • Let the community know about the changes
  • Host a leaving-do-meet-up :)

For Lingua Managers

  • Invite new editor to a Skype call
  • Share the application form
  • Share the Partnerships guidelines and add new editors to the partners spreadsheet
  • Announce and welcome to Lingua Editors List
  • Update contact email settings in various places to point to the new editor:
    • Contact form settings on the Lingua site
    • Lingua editors contact form on the English site.
    • Admin Email option in Settings > General of the Lingua site.
  • Update GV Info Database
  • Update the leadership page
  • Inform the board in the next board report

For New Editors

  • Once changes are announced, say hello to the community as the new editor
  • Get to know the local community rules, suggest any changes
  • Take time to familiarise yourself with admin areas of WordPress
  • Demote the past editor role from ‘Admin’ to ‘Editor’
  • Check out the relevant pages:
  • If you need help, feel free to invite co-editors
  • In case of questions, don't hesitate to contact the Lingua Manager.
  • Host a meet up party :)

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