African Internet Charity Project for People

Hello Daniel,

I didn’t expect to receive actual interest right NOW, but it’s been from several people so I need a few days to look in my database and compile a concise list of all my African language translators at present. Once I’ve done that I will send you the list. If there is good interest, it will only motivate me to get down there sooner and round up more people. I think the internet revolution will hit Africa within the next 5 to 10 years, and then trade with it, and subsequent demand for translations.


On Thu, Dec 24, 2009 at 9:08 PM, Harcz & Partner Ltd. wrote:

Dear Karel:

I wonder if you received my answer to your message below.

You can provide the African people with my e-mail address. I look forward to receiving their applications.

Merry Christmas!


Africa charity project and seeking African translators

In this email:

1) progress of the Africa charity project

2) subscribe to Africa charity project newsletter

3) seeking African translators



Howdy dudes,

well, managed to make some progress and moving forward with my project. The discussions have been interesting and you may read them if you like through the standard

My plan now is to stay in Bulgaria until the fall of 2010, when my one year contract for internet through mobile phone ends. By then I hope to be well prepared for my journey. Which, for the time being, seems like a drive to Alexandria Egypt, and from there ship out to Kenya. On the way perhaps I’ll try to set something up in Syria. Kenya has year round perfect temperature for me, so looking forward to the adventure.

By that time I hope to have found some sponsors for solar panels and laptops, but if not, I believe I will have enough saved up myself to supply at least one village. I can camp out there in my truck, make friends with them, and teach them English and all my computer skills.

I have also begun communicating with several translation agencies who are interested in African translators (point 3 below), so while shacked up in some village I hope to find them some work already.


If you would like to receive regular updates of the Africa charity project, you may subscribe to

I won’t bombard you frequently but only when I feel it is interesting.

If you do not subscribe this will probably be the last letter you get from me on this subject.


Hello Marinus,

thank you for the insightful response.

Yes, one of the jobs I would try to get them is dataprocessing and other simple jobs, which they could compete against since they could probably charge a lot less. I’m looking at all options.

What concerns translations, I think that Africa will experience the internet revolution over the next 5 to 10 years, and as it opens up to the world, and people start earning money in different ways, the market will also open up, in which case trade will increase and then the demand for translations will also increase. Kind of happens hand in hand. Anyway, just trying to help them join the global internet scene faster, because with global warming I think they will have a hard time surviving on traditional farming alone.

Take care,


On Wed, Dec 23, 2009 at 9:47 PM, Marinus H. wrote:

Hi Karel

Sounds like an exciting and very helpful project. I’d love to come on board, but we’re already quite involved in a bunch of other projects. Can’t do it all, I’m afraid, unless it is an idea that is commercially interesting at this end.

As to the translation idea: it’s hard to imagine who would ultimately want to pay for translation into an African language. I don’t know that market very well, but in the markets I do know the amount of work is determined by the companies that want to reach potential clients. We had a bit of a recession in Germany and not long after that the amount of work from German into English and Dutch collapsed, which caused a price drop of about 15% we’re still struggling with right now. I’m actually considering giving it up because the situation has deteriorated so much.

Which means that only if you can find or create a market in that particular language group, there will be outsourcing to freelancers as a result.

But how about English business services? There are other, less complicated services you could offer. Making editable Word files out of PDFs for example, creating termbases (dictionaries) from existing translation, or file conversion (from Excel to tmx for example). The tools are relatively cheap or even free. I’m pretty sure that if the price is competitive, certain services can be better done by people instead of machines. How much turnover in USD would a candidate have to make per day to make it worth their while?

I could see a business opportunity in a combination of development/outsourcing to African ‘home offices’, but reliability is an enormously important issue. Just as not everyone in Canada or Germany is fit for work that requires pedantic attention to detail and good punctuality, not everyone over there will be. If you are the kind of man who doesn’t mind mixing altruistic intentions with making some money for himself by being the manager of a business service centre, this could be an option. I personally would get on board a business like that, but only if it promises some income for me in the long run as well.

Whatever your reply may be: all the best and good luck with your ventures.


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