Language Technology / Our People

TermWiki’s One Millionth Contributor: An Interview with Raúl Barrera

Since the beginning of the month, we have been brimming with excitement as the TermWiki countdown neared its target of one million terms. On Monday evening, April 11th, the TermWiki Community finally did it… the terms, definitions, and translations in TermWiki are now one million and counting!

We are also happy to announce today’s post is an interview with the contributor of the one millionth term, Raúl Barrera! Take a moment and sit down with us as we talk to Raúl about this momentous occasion, his reasons for using TermWiki, and what his favorite TermWiki features are. On behalf of the entire TermWiki Community, thanks again Raúl for all your hard work!

contributor

Born in Bilbao in northern Spain, Raúl Barrera spent most of his childhood in the nearby city Vitoria. After studying law and economics at Deusto University, Raúl moved to Perth, Australia where he enrolled in Curtin University of Technology, receiving a postgraduate diploma in business. At Curtin, Raúl met his future wife; he moved to Indonesia, where she is from, and worked as an accounting and Spanish teacher.

He returned to Spain a couple of years later and got involved in real estate. A few years later, Raúl and his wife decided to move back to Indonesia, where he now works as a translator, his past work experiences qualifying Raúl for many different areas of expertise.

Raúl is happiest spending time with his wife, son and daughter. He enjoys travelling and reading, and loves eating dim sum, Thai, Indonesian and, naturally, Spanish food.

When did you begin to contribute to TermWiki? Why did you decide to begin using it?

Raúl: I started using TermWiki in October of last year. I heard of it through an announcement from an online translation portal. I began using TermWiki to translate terms from English into Spanish. Spanish is my mother tongue and English is my second language.

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I have always liked exploring wikis on internet, and TermWiki has become my favourite one. TermWiki allows people to know the person who has translated the query. Before TermWiki, the wikis that I came across were very anonymous—they did not openly or easily show who the author of the translation was.

TermWiki offers the possibility of contacting the person who did the translation. This enables translators and users to be able to communicate, offer feedback, and generally create a more open environment.

What were your initial impressions when you first began using TermWiki? How have those initial thoughts changed?

Raúl: One of the things that I liked most about TermWiki was its simplicity. Any person could begin inputting or translating words directly into the system by following a few simple instructions. TermWiki also allows users to choose terms based on industries or areas of specialization, so every user can select and focus on sectors that fit their skills and experience… This is especially useful for translators.

I have not changed my mind about TermWiki despite nearly six months of translating terms. TermWiki was simple and easy to use from the start, but there is no doubt that time and practice have made the translations and revisions become easier and faster.

What about TermWiki appealed to you? Why do you continue to use it?

Raúl: The most important thing for me was to be able to discover a wiki that was truly alive, where translators and users could meet each other, where there is a very intuitive and easy environment, and where any translator may review the translations already made for consistency in the result. TermWiki fulfills all of these requirements.

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You will forever be known in TermWiki’s history as the one millionth term contributor. How does that make you feel?

Raúl: Without a doubt, it is an honor, and I am extremely happy. But at the same time, to achieve one million terms and counting, it is true that it couldn’t have been done without many people from all over the world contributing their best efforts for many months… so recognition must also be extended to them. Without them, we would never have achieved this record result so quickly.

Do you have a favorite or most used feature?

Raúl: The feature I use most is the Workbench of course, but I find the Language Race and the Top Contributors of 2011 very interesting. These options provide a greater degree of dynamism to TermWiki, keeping it alive. In addition, the Reviewer Workbench is also a very important feature if you want to maintain a level of quality in the work already done.

Any last thoughts about the future of TermWiki?

Raúl: With such a fantastic group of people behind TermWiki the future can only be brilliant. Perhaps a TermWiki mobile app or the ability to hear the sound of the translated terms would be nice additions in the future. Human creativity has no limits, and consequently TermWiki has a great future ahead.

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3 thoughts on “TermWiki’s One Millionth Contributor: An Interview with Raúl Barrera

  1. Hi Marisa and Shannon, thanks a lot for you comments.Do not worry Shannon, next Christmas I will buy a lottery ticket and if I win I will let you know.
    Again, many thanks to both of you.

  2. Hi Raul – I think you should go buy a lottery ticket if you have them in Spain – that’s very cool!

  3. Great comments Raul! I agree that TermWiki feels more ‘alive’ than other wikis and your expression gave words to a general feeling that I’ve had about Termwiki. Thanks for the contribution and for your time with the interview!

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