FAQs on Translator Gator Pilot 2

Yulistina Riyadi
May 9, 2017

What is Translator Gator?

Translator Gator is a web-based online game where players are asked to translate keywords related to development and humanitarian action into their own language. The game was launched in 2016 by Pulse Lab Jakarta to translate the language of the SDGs and help people across Indonesia become more aware and involved with the Goals. In Phase 2, which was launched in 2017, the game aims to translate keywords related to disaster management and humanitarian action from English into 22 national/official and local languages from 11 countries in the ASEAN region and Sri Lanka.

How do I play?

Translator Gator is a web-based online game and not an app. You can access it at translatorgator.org and you do not need to download anything.

When was Phase 2 launched and how long will it last?

We are calling on people to help us translate as many keywords as possible. This phase was launched on 22 April and will close on 31 July 2017.

Who are the participating countries?

The target countries for this phase are countries in the ASEAN region (Brunei, Cambodia, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, Myanmar, Philippines, Singapore, Thailand, Vietnam) and Sri Lanka.

What are the objectives?

There are three main objectives for this phase of Translator Gator: (1) to translate disaster keywords/taxonomies in multiple languages that can be used to support digital text analysis projects, such as  social media monitoring projects; (2) the taxonomies generated through Translator Gator will not only help to better understand the behaviors of affected populations before/during/after a disaster, but will also support improved communication with these communities through various channels and hopefully can  complement disaster management strategies in the region; and (3) the project is expected to raise disaster awareness and get people involved in advancing and supporting the Sustainable Development Goals.

What am I supposed to do?

There are  four components of the game:

  1. Translate disaster related words/phrases from pre-defined English to 22 languages, including national/official languages and local languages of the 11 countries;
  2. Evaluate the translations submitted by others to validate the meaning;
  3. Suggest alternative words/phrases if necessary; and
  4. Classify words/phrases into selected categories that will be outlined in the game.

How is this different from other translation services?

We are using crowdsourcing, as in the “wisdom of the crowd,” to translate words from English into less commercial languages and dialects. With people's help, we can build dictionaries of translated words including local dialects and jargon, something other translation services lack. Moreover, users are asked to suggest synonyms and evaluate the quality of what others translate, as well as place words in pre-defined categories related to disaster management and humanitarian action.  

Who can participate?

Anyone who is a  native speaker of one of the languages in  our targeted countries -  ten ASEAN countries and Sri Lanka.

How can I get involved?

As a user, people can directly register on the website: http://translatorgator.org. If you are interested in collaborating in other ways, please email us at plj-tg@un.or.id.

Are there rewards for people who play?

Yes. The main purpose is to engage people, advance awareness of the SDGs, and help us translate disaster-related keywords to support research in disaster management. Users will also collect points throughout the game. The more components you are involved in, the better. We will be giving rewards to people who collect the most amount of points. You can win:  

  • Return trips to our offices in Bangkok and Jakarta (for the top 2 contributors with the highest scores across all 11 countries)
  • Gift cards of USD100 (for the top 2 contributors* from each participating country). Total of 22 contributors will be rewarded
  • Merchandise for 100 contributors who can finish all translation tasks from each participating country. Total of 1,100 contributors will be rewarded

*different contributors who already get the return trip rewards

**prizes subject to change without prior notification

How do you decide the winners?

  • The winners of return trips to our offices in Bangkok and Jakarta will be decided by referring to the latest and final scores accumulated by players until the game closes on 31 July 2017 at 00.01AM. There will be only two (2) winners across all 11 countries.
  • Winners of the USD100 will be selected based on  the two (2) top scores from each participating country. Up to 22 contributors will be rewarded. These winners must be different from those who win the travel prizes.  
  • The first 100 users to finish all translation tasks, i.e. all four components described above, from each participating country will receive merchandise. A total of 1,100 contributors will be rewarded.


How do  I earn points in Translator Gator?

Basically, you can earn points by doing the tasks. For instance: Translation = 10 points, Synonym/Alternative = 15 points, Category = 5, Evaluation = 5 points, Upvoted/if someone agrees with your translation = 5, Downvoted/if someone disagrees with your translations = -5. You can also earn points when you refer the game to your friends, using the referral system, located in your score board. Also, during certain times, there will be campaigns, such as double/triple points, double referral points, and so on, in which you can earn more points that help you accumulate higher scores.

How does the referral system work?

Share your scores with your friends by clicking the Facebook and Twitter buttons on your game profile page. When you share your scores, a link is automatically generated with your scores that your friends can click and join the game. When they register using that link, you get additional points.

What if I get words that make no sense?

That is a possibility. Some words are auto-generated lists that were extracted from previous projects we did on social media. In some Tweets, words people use may not make a lot of sense or may be abbreviated. Do your best to try to translate them. You can try to search on the internet and see if you encounter the same word to find out the context.

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