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Volunteers from our language communities around the world have enabled the GBIF network to reduce linguistic barriers to free and open biodiversity data

The commitment of community volunteers like Dimitri Brosens (left) and Anne-Sophie Archambeau (right) has enabled the GBIF network to reduce linguistic barriers to data and science worldwide.

In mid-2018, the GBIF Secretariat started working with Spanish and Japanese speakers from across our community with the goal or reduce the role of language as a barrier to free and open biodiversity data. Their pilot effort soon sparked new parallel ones for other languages, and thanks to the aid and support of the volunteer translators listed below, the user interface and key content on now appear in eight languages:

A new set of volunteers have also started work on an Arabic translation of the user interface, which, when complete, will fulfill a commitment GBIF made in its 2018 work programme to support all six official UN languages.

Two technology platforms have supported these efforts through free non-commercial licences that enable us to streamline the work of managing our multilingual content: CrowdIn, which we use for translations of the user interface, and Contentful, the content management system used for all non-data pages on We are most grateful to these and the other companies we rely on to support and maintain GBIF’s open-source infrastructure.

Community members also contribute to other GBIF-related translations, including material for the EU-funded Biodiversity Information for Development (BID) programme and the alliance for biodiversity knowledge, which extended the core set of our eight languages to include Basque, Catalan and Dutch.

Can I join the GBIF translator community?

The work of translation is never done: we are always creating new content, and we introduce small but incremental additions and adjustments to the user interface on an almost weekly basis. We often have other publications and documentation in need of translations (or updated translations), so we welcome the involvement of newcomers who can help us maintain progress in making free and open data even more widely accessible around the world.

If you are interested in joining our volunteer community, please feel free to email us at [email protected]. We'll discuss current priorities and arrange a time to orient you to the key tools and the most pressing tasks.

If you already have experience with CrowdIn (which our community first started using in 2014 to translate the interface for the GBIF IPT), you can simply request to join the CrowdIn project for your preferred language.

What recognition does GBIF give its volunteer translators?

In addition to direct attribution and acknowledgement of translators' work on individual pages of GBIF's various websites, we award Open Badges to all volunteers who contribute translations in a given calendar year.

We also expect to assess the impact of this community-led effort and use it as the basis of research, analysing web traffic and data access across different language groups before and after the availability of translations (Amayo, González-Varo & Sutherland 2016).

GBIF volunteer translators

VolunteerLanguageCountry, island or territoryAnnual badgesNéstor Alberto Acosta Buenaño Spanish Ecuador 2018, 2019 Daniel Amariles Spanish Colombia 2015 Anne-Sophie Archambeau French France 2015, 2018, 2019, 2020 Nabegh Ghazal Asswad Arabic Syria 2019, 2020 Karen Banton French United Kingdom 2020 Clara Baringo Fonseca Portuguese Brazil 2020 Juan Mauricio Benítez García Spanish Spain 2016 Dimitri Brosens Dutch Belgium 2018, 2019 Leonardo Buitrago Spanish Colombia 2018 Felipe Castilla Spanish Spain 2018 Katia Cézon Spanish Spain 2018, 2019 Ivan Chadin Russian Russian Federation 2018 Hsuan Chang Traditional Chinese Taiwan 2017 Eric Chenin French France 2020 Carles Dalmases Llordes Catalan Spain 2019 Dairo Escobar Spanish Colombia 2016, 2019 Pin-Ren Fang Traditional Chinese Taiwan 2018, 2019, 2020 Rui Figueira Portuguese Portugal 2015, 2016, 2017, 2018, 2019, 2020 Nina Filippova Russian Russian Federation 2019, 2020 Paula Geao Spanish Spain 2020 Javier Andres Gamboa Martínez Spanish Colombia 2019 Tatiana Gavrilova Russian Russian Federation 2018 Abdullah Ghazal Arabic Saudi Arabia 2019, 2020 André Heughebaert French Belgium 2015, 2018, 2019, 2020 Tsuyoshi Hosoya Japanese Japan 2016, 2017, 2019, 2020 Shuya Huang Traditional Chinese Taiwan 2018 Marta Iturribarria Basque, Spanish Spain 2018, 2019 Natalya Ivanova Russian Russian Federation 2018, 2019, 2020 Chihjen Ko Traditional Chinese Taiwan 2017, 2018, 2019 Melissa Liu Traditional Chinese Taiwan 2018, 2019, 2020 Carmen Lujano Spanish Spain 2018 Maofang Luo Simplified Chinese China 2018, 2019, 2020 Ana Laura Mello Spanish Uruguay 2016 Tainan Messina Portuguese Portugal 2018, 2019 Toshie Mizunuma Japanese Japan 2018, 2020 Camille Monchicourt French France 2019 Jingmei Niu Simplified Chinese China 2018, 2019, 2020 Andriy Novikov Ukrainian Ukraine 2020 Nicolas Noé French Belgium 2016, 2017, 2019 Javier Otegui Spanish Spain 2016 Sophie Pamerlon French France 2016, 2017, 2018, 2019, 2020 Anabela Plos Spanish Argentina 2016, 2018, 2019, 2020 Andrea Ferreira Portela Nunes Portuguese Brazil 2017, 2018, 2019 Oleh Prylutskyi Ukrainian Ukraine 2020 Pierre Radji French Togo 2015, 2016, 2017, 2018, 2019, 2020 Niels Raes Dutch Netherlands 2018, 2019 Marta Rozas Ormazabal Basque, Spanish Spain 2019 Adnan Saad Arabic Syria 2020 Anton Savchenko Ukrainian Estonia 2020 Max Shashkov Russian Russian Federation 2017, 2018, 2019, 2020 Carole Sinou French Canada 2017, 2018, 2019, 2020 Angela Suarez-Mayorga Spanish Spain 2016 Jordi Torallas i Boucharlat Catalan Spain 2019 Kumiko Totsu Japanese Japan 2018, 2019, 2020 Sz-Yi Tsai Traditional Chinese Taiwan 2020 Mao-ning Tuanmu Traditional Chinese Taiwan 2020 William Ulate Spanish United States 2018, 2019, 2020 Miguel Vega Spanish Spain 2018, 2019, 2020 Jorge Velásquez Tibatá Spanish Colombia 2019 Cristina Villaverde Spanish Spain 2018, 2020 Zheping Xu Simplified Chinese China 2017 Iryna Yatsiuk Ukrainian Estonia 2020 Paula Zermoglio Spanish Argentina 2018, 2019, 2020 Liwen Zhang Simplified Chinese China 2020 Aitor Zulueta Telleria Basque, Spanish Spain 2019