With the funding environment for nonprofits in Serbia becoming increasingly more fragmented and the choice of technology tools to aid fundraising and advocacy becoming more diverse, Catalyst Balkans saw an opportunity to fill an open niche for a localized CRM targeted to the nonprofit sector in the Western Balkans. With Catalyst Balkans already having used CiviCRM for several years for its own communication and contact management needs, the localization of CiviCRM was a natural choice.
With virtually zero strings translated into Serbian on Transifex and a very limited budget, Catalyst used a combination of existing staff resources and volunteers to plug away at the translation effort over a period of months. The final 1500 strings were done with the help of a translation professional who also went through and polished the entire translation file.
Many coffees were spent in conversation about the best (and shortest) translation of a string. Concepts like a ‘pledge’ or acronyms like LYBNTY proved to be a huge challenge to get right. And it also gave our staff coffees a whole new linguistic flavor (and made some of us wish we had a little extra nip of something to slip into the coffee).
However, after nearly 7 months of effort, we completed the translation and were thrilled with the results as we installed it onto a Drupal implementation. Then we broke out the drinks and made coffee hour into happy hour.
Subsequently, we have continued with the translation of several extensions, including the Mosaico mail extension. With the translation complete, we have worked with 9 nonprofits to set up instances in Serbian to beta test the translation and provide us feedback on improvements that could be made.
With this experience in hand, we are launching an effort to provide full translations of CiviCRM and key extensions into Albanian, Bosnian, Croatian, and Macedonian over the next year.
This will allow CiviCRM to access a market of more than 130,000 nonprofit organizations across the 7 countries where there will now be a fully localized CRM solution for them to use and a service provider who will provide hosting, support and training in using CiviCRM for improved fundraising, more effective advocacy and increased constituent engagement.
Director and Co-Founder of Catalyst Balkans