Every month or so the OTW will be doing a Q&A with one of its volunteers about their experiences in the organization. The posts express each volunteer's personal views and do not necessarily reflect the views of the OTW or constitute OTW policy. Today's post is with Mirissa, who volunteers as a Translation volunteer for Team Kyrgyz.
How does what you do as a volunteer fit into what the OTW does?
My role in the OTW community is just the same as the other translators. I translate news and other OTW documents to help the community grow and make the experience for other people more comfortable. When I applied to be a translator for the Kyrgyz language there was no Kyrgyz language on the list of the application form. I wasn’t extremely surprised, because this language is not very well known, but it really is similar to Kazakh. It’s funny how long it took me to realize that I was the only translator on the team.
What is a typical week like for you as a volunteer?
My week as a volunteer isn't that unusual. Honestly, I am the type of person to procrastinate and do all the work at the last minute. But with my translation assignments, I take my time on them and try to make them the best way possible. I’m mostly on time, but sometimes I might face some technical issues, so my assignments might be overdue. Not only do I translate different documents, but since I am the only person on the Kyrgyz language team I also act as a beta.
What made you decide to volunteer?
I’ve been reading fanfics on AO3 for a long time after finding a really well-written work 3 years ago. As I got signed up for it and went through news posts I noticed a post saying that they needed translators. I got really interested in it and filled in the application form. At first I didn’t know which language team I should volunteer for, because I know Russian pretty decently as well, so it took me some time to figure out that I wanted to share my native language with the community.
What has been your biggest challenge doing work for the OTW?
In the beginning, I was trying my best to get used to the system of how this role worked. Eventually, I got used to everything until the time to translate the membership drives came. I did understand the condition to finish it in 5 days, so I thought “Why not do it?” Maybe I had some challenges because the language I’m translating into might be a bit confusing for non-native speakers. So, I had to confirm something with the staff. I’m glad it all turned out well in the end.
What fannish things do you like to do?
I do not really stand out in the area of fannish stuff. Just like everyone, I do read fanfics and I also write my own fanfics on AO3. Well, I also do aesthetic journaling, but not that often since it really does take me a lot of time. I also watch videos of my favorite anime and Japanese voice actors, who doesn’t do that? I think that’s all I do as a fan (I’m thinking I sound really boring, don’t I?).
Now that our volunteer’s said five things about what they do, it’s your turn to ask one more thing! Feel free to ask about their work in the comments. Or if you'd like, you can check out earlier Five Things posts.
The Organization for Transformative Works is the non-profit parent organization of multiple projects including Archive of Our Own, Fanlore, Open Doors, Transformative Works and Cultures, and OTW Legal Advocacy. We are a fan run, entirely donor-supported organization staffed by volunteers. Find out more about us on our website.