macht.sprache. is a project to foster politically sensitive translation between English and German.
macht.sprache. offers a platform for crowdsourcing and discussing politically sensitive terms and their translations, and provides a tool to help translate with sensitivity.
You are warmly invited to use our Text Checker and participate in the ongoing discussion, as well as add terms and translation options and examples. You can download our extension for Google Translate, and integrate sensitivity into your translations with no extra effort.
macht.sprache. requires a user profile for active participation, so that the administrative team can actively moderate and this platform remains as safe a space as possible. For this, the platform follows the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) and asks only for the data that is necessary for a profile: An email address and a (made up) user name. The mail address is not public and is only used for account verification and possibly later for notifications, which are called “transactional” mails in the terminology of the GDPR. A newsletter subscription is offered as an opt-in.
Users are free to decide whether they want to appear under a pseudonym or under their real name, and if so, with which identity they will be recognized. Public contact options such as a Twitter handle can be specified in the user profile, if so desired.
As the topic of discussion is sensitive language, please be warned that you might encounter harmful language on the platform. We have incorporated a switch so that you can choose for yourself if you would prefer not be confronted with offensive language unmediatedly.
We’ve also developed some guidelines for respectful communication on this platform. We ask that you structure your participation in this collaborative process accordingly.
Read the Code of Conduct
Who we are
Lucy Gasser teaches literary, cultural and postcolonial studies at the University of Potsdam. She completed her PhD in 2019, and is co-founder of poco.lit. She grew up in Cape Town, South Africa, and has lived in Berlin since 2014.
Anna von Rath
Anna von Rath lives in Berlin and works in the field of diversity and inclusion, and as a freelance translator. In 2019, she finished her PhD in postcolonial cultural studies. She is a co-founder of poco.lit.
Lisa Nechutnys studied Anglophone Literatures in Potsdam. She is one of the founding members of Postcolonial Potsdam offering postcolonial park tours in Potsdam. Today, in addition to her full-time work in a Berlin tech company, she supports the macht.sprache. project.
Timur Celikel is UI / UX designer and Web-Developer and co-founded völlig ohne 2016. He studied Digital Media in Bremen and has 9 years of experience working for a startup and as freelancer in Berlin.
Kolja Lange lives in Berlin and works as a full-stack developer. He has 8 years of experience working in a software company and studied Digital Media in Bremen.
macht.sprache. is an open source project which we are continuously improving. If you find any bugs, please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org and we will try to fix them. Additionally, everyone with the capabilities is invited to contribute directly and get involved in our repository: https://github.com/macht-sprache/macht-sprache-app
An Ongoing Project
macht.sprache.’s collective efforts to generate knowledge about sensitive translation flow into the Text Checker, which the project team develops technically and curates conceptually.
We fully acknowledge that such an endeavour can never be complete and such a tool will never be exhaustive. At the same time, we trust in the power of collaboration and discussion. The software is available as open source for further development, projects with a different focus, or translation between other languages.
We’ve spoken about the project in the following articles and podcasts:
- (in German) macht.sprache. – ein Online-Tool für politisch sensibles Übersetzen, auf wissenschaftskommunikation.de
- (in German) Politisch sensibel Übersetzen, im Magazin für übersetzte Literatur „Tralalit“
- (in English) macht.sprache.: In conversation with Anna von Rath and Lucy Gasser, minor constellations podcast
- (in English) International Translation Day 21: The political responsibility of the translator in the 21st century, Goethe UK YouTube Channel
- (in German) Offen für Neues: maschinelles und inklusives Übersetzen, Babelwerk
- (in English) De-biasing translation tools, Zeitgeister
macht.sprache. was funded by the Berlin Senate and the Prototype Fund (FKZ 01lS21S36).