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BY Micah L. Sifry | Tuesday, November 17 2009

Our friends at SeeClickFix have some cool news to share today: The do-it-yourself civic platform is going multilingual. Citizens will soon be able to report non-emergency issues in their community to those accountable for the public space in 83 languages anywhere in the world using SeeClickFix on their PC or mobile phone. (And just in time for PdF Europe!)

Co-founder Ben Berkowitz says, "The vision for SeeClickFix has always been to be international and universally accessible. While always geographically accessible SeeClickFix now has the infrastructure to support a web site in 83 languages. This will allow citizens to communicate with their government in the country's native language as well as in the citizen's first language if different. For the latter feature we have added automated translation of all user generated content."

Berkowitz says this site improvement was partially a result of how people were organically using the site. "Already we have found citizens from around the world posting issues on SeeClickFix in their native language. They have also asked us to support translating the site into that language." He adds, "We should give a special thanks to Portnoy in Mongolia, Vladamir in Russia, David in France, Ahmed in Kuwait and Mariano in Argentina for pressuring us to push translation at the front of our priority list and google chatting us at weird hours of the evening with 'Are we there yets?'"

The new translation system allows enables people to use Google Translate to suggest translations, and to preview translations in context before saving. The site also plans to grant international SeeClickFix users the right to translate based on earned civic points.

Berkowitz notes that SeeClickFix is looking for translators, media partners, advocates and developers. "If you are interested please contact us at team-at-seeclickfix-dot-com," he says.