Announcing if-me.org in Dutch

By: Martijn de Boer

More communities need mental health support. Our site is now available in Nederlands!

If you’re interested contributing to our project in any capacity, email join.ifme@gmail.com!

Picture of Cathedral Square in Utrecht, Netherlands, taken from GoodFreePhotos

Martijn de Boer is a geek, programmer, writer, amateur linguist, and musician from the northern part of the Netherlands. His day job includes programming applications for e-health, virtual reality and businesses. In his spare time, he volunteers for important causes both online and offline. Every month, he assists with support groups by making tea/coffee and providing company.

Why is mental health important to you?

Mental health is still considered a taboo topic. It’s sad that not talking about it really hurts people. In 2014, when Robin Williams committed suicide it was seen as unexpected and shocking. When more people openly talking bout their struggles, you begin to notice everyone around you struggling with anxiety and stress-induced depression. Being interested in neuroscience, I always want to understand myself and those around me. It’s so important to help others. We need each other to survive. It can also provide an escape for your own thoughts.

How is mental health perceived and treated in the Netherlands?

Several organizations in the Netherlands making great strides. Every January, a gala is hosted to raise awareness of depression. Last year it started being broadcast on national television. Government grants are available for many of these organizations, but they are mostly privately funded or volunteer-based groups.

Too many people still don’t know what to do and who to talk to when they have problems, so there is still much work to do. Healthcare organizations are overbooked, and care is provided in a very money-centric way, so people need to decide if that’s where they want to get support from.

There are volunteer groups that can help you with self-care. I think it’s important for people to learn how they can support each other as well. Please do.

Why did you want to participate in translating if-me.org?

I have a long history with contributing to open source software, it’s where I’ve gotten much of my programming knowledge from.

This year I wanted to participate in the annual #Hacktoberfest. if-me.org interested me because it ties together my love for linguistics, programming, and psychology. Everyone in the contributor community has been warm and welcoming.

if me homepage in Dutch

Were there any interesting challenges you came across while translating?

I have some ongoing challenges with getting the application run in Docker. Installing it on Debian worked like a charm!

The pull request process was really useful because reviewers helped to point out small mistakes. However, there weren’t enough reviewers to find mistakes as quickly as I had hoped.

To solve this problem, I created a tool to catch any lingering mistakes and provide language suggestions using the LanguageTool service. This took away the last hurdle, and allowed us to put the Dutch translations online in a week.

Many thanks for the community for providing technical support, fixing merge issues, etc. Most importantly, thanks to everyone who helped to review my translations. Together we’re helping people talk about their struggles more.

Huge thanks to Martijn de Boer for his hard work 💜. Let us know how your experience is going with our Dutch site. If you want to see our app in your language, contact us at join.ifme@gmail.com.

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