Languages at ICANN
Language translation is essential for ICANN’s global multistakeholder organization. Meetings, documents, and information must be accessible in a variety of languages. Translation facilitates access to ICANN and participation in its work for those who do not speak or are not fluent in English.
There are two primary goals for translation at ICANN:
1. Make information about ICANN and its work accessible to those who speak languages other than English in ways that enhance participation in, and the effectiveness of, the multistakeholder model.
2. Make ICANN more effective as a global organization. ICANN's translations are available in the six United Nations languages –Arabic, Chinese (Simplified), English, French, Russian and Spanish – where appropriate.
How Translation Works
Translations are provided by means of several translation mechanisms. ICANN’s Language Services team consists of regional and language industry experts that focus on high quality translation and localization of content. Currently, this means that dozens of content items on www.icann.org are translated every day, but we do not yet offer full-site translation.
You can explore translated content for each of the United Nations languages, or search the site for translated content:
ICANN will be adding translation mechanisms and workflows over the coming months as part of the future language translations roadmap. Ultimately, our goal is to provide full-site translations.
A new platform which will include tools, workflows, and processes will leverage existing high quality translation resources with additional mechanisms to allow more expansive and expedient translations. The platform will include translation memory, terminology databases, glossaries, monitored crowdsourcing capabilities and machine translation.
As part of our roadmap, we will define four levels of content on ICANN.org, and for each we will associate a specific translation mechanism:
Level 1 - Core, technical and sensitive ICANN content to be translated by a selected preferred group of vendors and validated by ICANN Language Experts
Level 2 - Core, non-technical ICANN content to be translated by a third-party network of experienced professional language services vendors
Level 3 - Other content translations to be crowd-sourced by the community with the guidance and support of the ICANN Language Services Department
Level 4 - General, non-specific updates to be machine-translated (this may include material such as e-mail threads, comments from PCP, chat related material, etc.)
Each level would be identified on the website, using clearly defined iconography or labeling.
How You Can Get Involved
We welcome your feedback and ideas as we work toward more comprehensive and efficient translation solutions.
| By Göran Marby, ICANN President and CEO and Maarten Botterman, ICANN Board Chair
| By Maarten Botterman, Chair, ICANN Board of Directors
| By Sally Cohen, ICANN Senior Vice President, Global Communications 8 March 2021