The Challenge that Connects the World

by Sawsan Aldawodi on April 18, 2014

ICANN In Your Language

I have always known language interpretation and translation would be the field I could give the best contribution. Thanks to my native tongue, Arabic, and its accents and dialects, languages have been my passion since childhood. I was able to enhance this passion through my multiple jobs I performed during the last five years. I realized that talent means nothing, while experience, acquired in humility and with hard work, means everything.

This experience granted me the honor to join the ICANN Language Services department as an Arabic Interpreter and more than one year later, in January 2014, as a Language Expert and Head Interpreter. ICANN provides a great environment for me and for people like me to successfully invest our skills and capacities, as it allows to think globally and explore experiences and knowledge. ICANN is the right place for all kind of innovation.

 At the same time, my role as Language Expert and Lead Interpreter for the Arabic language comes with challenges and responsibilities. These responsibilities entail consistently showing the Arab world what ICANN and other relevant organizations are doing in the Internet governance ecosystem. Rendering ICANN concepts, principles and functions into another language is a serious and crucial task I have to perform with a high level of proficiency and accountability.

The first project I worked on in my new position was the update of the ICANN acronyms and glossary terms in the six United Nations languages. These consolidated documents, updated with the precious help of volunteers from the ICANN community, were crucial to create a strong standardized linguistic foundation to build up our language services structure in a way that is beyond effective in representing ICANN to the whole world. It took us months to establish our basic glossaries, which were published at early this year.

The next issue to tackle in the glossaries update process was how to increase and optimize its fruition. The ICANN 49 public meeting in Singapore provided a perfect opportunity to improve our ICANN Languages profile on the Quizlet app and to make it available to the almost 2,000 attendees, hailing from 150 countries. Business cards and banners with links and QR codes to easily access the acronyms and glossary terms online were distributed all throughout the venue and the work of the Language Services department was received with praise.

That wasn’t the end of the story, terms, names and acronyms are widely increasing on a daily basis with every initiative, program, discovery, newly established panel and emerging issue and challenge that the domain name industry and the Internet governance ecosystem face. This is the challenge with the non-stop innovation and growth of the Internet and communications fields.

From my own point of view, language is one of the core platforms on which the whole world can connect through the one open Internet, and I look forward to keeping on enhancing the work of the ICANN Language Services department to make ICANN the true global organization that it is.

Sawsan Aldawodi

Arabic Language Expert & Head Interpreter.

{ 1 comment… read it below or add one }

Lynn Lipinski 04.30.14 at 9:24 pm

Sawsan, what a great blog! I loved the line about talent meaning nothing, but experience, acquired with humility and hard work, meaning everything. Thank you for sharing.

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