Mar 21, 2020

COVID-19 contact tracking app: volunteers needed

Third update from the project coordinator: 

The first three rounds of volunteers have done an amazing job. All EU languages except Maltese and Irish Gaelic have been completed or are in progress, as are some other languages. 

Development specialist Krisztian Werderits is creating a pro bono app – VirusContact – to assist in tracing contacts in the event that someone becomes infected with the novel coronavirus currently wreaking havoc across the globe. A description of the project can be found here.

Gergely Vandor of memoQ Ltd. contacted me to talk about the project and the need for volunteers to assist in localization into all EU languages if possible. Current app languages are Hungarian and English. The company will be providing server resources to organize the project. Those who are able and willing to volunteer in this effort should contact Gergely at I'm not generally one to encourage pro bono work given the abuses one often finds with such, but I think the present world situation warrants an exception here.

The app basically works by temporarily recording proximate, unlinked Bluetooth devices (mobile phones generally) so that if you are tested positive, all such "contacts" from the past 14 days can be notified automatically. The data maintained by the app and deleted after two weeks have passed are the

  • Bluetooth unique ID 
  • GPS location of the encounter
  • distance (if possible to determine)
  • encounter's duration (if possible to determine)

Once a user confirm their own infection, all others with devices that have been near in the past 14 days (i.e. the presumed incubation period) will be notified of their exposure, with the aforementioned details included.


  1. Kevin, thank you for this, you are amazing! I'll use this space to share some information with every volunteer.

    Right now, the developers of the project are preparing the app for localization. We expect to get the localizable files by Monday.

    You can take a look at the screens of the app already here:

    I don't have an exact word count, but it is less than 1000 words I beleive.

    When can translation work start: hopefully on Monday. I will probably set up a memoQ cloud server and manage the localization myself. I'll try to make it as easy as possible for volunteer translators to jump in.

    About the deadline: ASAP. :) The developers want to get to the App Store and Google Play as soon as possible. Reaching a critical mass of users is key to the success of the app, and localization would help a lot with that.

    What do we expect from a translator: we want to have the app localized by professional translators to ensure good quality. As you can see from the screenshots, it does not require any kind of serious domain knowledge. The goal is to have translations that are grammatical, free of errors (duh) and have good appropriate style.

  2. Will be happy to assist for Turkish

    1. Contact Gergeley at the address given in the article ( Thank you!

  3. Dear all,
    I would like to help and contribute in European Portuguese translation.
    In the meantime, I will contact you via the email above.
    Many thanks.
    Kind regards,
    Sandra Flor


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