International group of volunteers makes IA resources available in eight languages

June 30, 2003 -- The Asilomar Institute for Information Architecture (AIfIA) Translation Project is translating information architecture (IA) resources and articles to and from eight languages. Today, the initiative provides resources in Danish, Dutch, French, Italian, Japanese, Portuguese and Spanish on the AIfIA website (

Several resources on AIfIA and information architecture have already been translated, and more translations will be completed over the next few months. The initiative will translate articles written in other languages into English as well.

"Information architecture is practiced around the world, but most IA resources are still in English," said Peter Van Dijck, the Translation Project leader. "If we want the field to mature, we need to incorporate the practices and insights that are currently being developed all over the world. We think translating key texts to and from various languages will be helpful. We focus on translating texts that explain the importance of solid information architecture to decision makers, but also translate texts for practitioners."

The Translation Project is the result of several months work by an international, multilingual team of volunteers. Working from places like Brazil, Chile, Denmark, Holland, Japan, Portugal, Spain, Canada and the United States they collaborated using mailing lists, a Wiki and Moveable Type to make this project happen.

Several prominent authors--including Bruce Tognazzini, Lou Rosenfeld, Peter Morville and Thomas Myer--have generously given AIfIA permission to translate their articles. New articles will be added to the AIfIA web site as they are translated.

Peter Van Dijck: "People are very enthusiastic about this initiative. Except when there were previous contractual obligations, nobody we approached has refused translation rights." The translated articles are available free for all on the AIfIA web site.

The team is actively recruiting volunteer translators, who will be able to work on texts from top people in the field. Additional languages will be added as the project continues.

More Information on the Translation Project

Press Contacts

Stig Andersen

Oskar van Rijswijk

Gene Smith

Stéphane Volet

Marco Esteban Calzolari

Nobuya Sato

Lívia Labate

Jorge Arango

Background - AIfIA Translation Project

What is the AIfIA Translation Project?

The AIfIA Translation project is an initiative that aims to translateinformation architecture (IA) resources from and to various languages.The goal of the initiative is to promote IA throughout the world, and topromote information architecture as a field.

What are the countries again?

The translation project is not about countries. It deals with languages.Our volunteers are from all over the world, so a volunteer from Brazilmay translate something in Portuguese (spoken in Brazil), which could beuseful for an information architect working in Portugal.

Do you need to join AIfIA to access the translated articles?

No, anyone can access AIfIA's translations. According to AIfIA'stranslation rights agreement, the original author of the article retainsall copyright and gives AIfIA the non-exclusive right to publishtranslations of the article on the Internet. AIfIA does not charge foraccess to these translations.

Where will the content be made available?

The content will be available through the AIfIA web site. Each activelanguage has its own page with links to information about AIfIA as wellas translated articles.

How are resources selected?

A translation can be suggested by anyone through the Language Pages (currently through email) and the Language Representative (Editor) lists it as a possible translation. Its relevance is evaluated by the AIfIA Translation Project Coordinator and each Language Representative.

Why is internationalization important to AIfIA and the burgeoning IAcommunity?

"Connecting people from diverse disciplines, countries and cultures is a strategic imperative, not only for AIfIA but for the IA, design and information technology communities as a whole. Our competitive advantage derives from our very ability to build bridges and link communities. The Translation Project is an important step in the right direction."

Peter Morville
Co-author, Information Architecture for the World Wide Web

"Today, several IA groups around the world are poorly serviced when it comes to information about IA as a discipline (particularly non-English speakers). Many practitioners feel isolated in their current locations, lacking the support and enrichment provided by a group of people with similar interests. Still, even though the United States is home to most of the prominent research and people in the field, IA is becoming very popular worldwide. This signals thepower of internationalization in the IA world."

Lívia Labate
Information Architect, São Paulo, Brazil

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