We've completed our Tribal Quest expedition to Papua New Guinea, where we had an incredible experience documenting the family histories of people in remote tribes whose stories are at risk of being lost forever.
This trip was the second expedition in our Tribal Quest project. Learn more about our global initiative at the Tribal Quest website.
Papua New Guinea is one of the most culturally diverse places on the planet. With 7 million people spread out over an area of 460,000 square kilometers, tribes live isolated from one another, separated by forests, rivers, and mountains.
Visitors to the MyHeritage office often do a double take when they walk past the development offices. Only a few doors from each other sit twin brothers Maor and Maayan. They swear that they’re not identical twins but, looking at them, you would never guess it.
Maor was the first to interview at MyHeritage back in December 2011, but he joined the company after his brother, Maayan. Maor couldn’t immediately leave his position at a different company, but suggested Maayan as another candidate for the MyHeritage development team. “I told them that I have a very similar looking and talented brother who would be very interested,”
Our MyHeritage team had a great time last week at the Who Do You Think You Are Live? 2016 show in Birmingham, UK.
The show attracted visitors from all over the UK and also many from abroad. Both beginners and advanced researchers shared their passion of family history.
At MyHeritage, we're passionate about family, and our family-like work environment has always reflected this since our early startup days. To keep this atmosphere even as we expand, our offices have been designed to balance a fun and welcoming office environment, with a reflection of our commitment to the preservation of family history.
MyHeritage began in Founder and CEO Gilad Japhet's living room in Bnei Atarot, a village founded by the Templers. Then for several years the company's headquarters were located in a Templer family estate and farmhouse in the same village. This picturesque setting is where the company grew from 2 to 70 employees.
The year has come and gone in a flash, and what a year it has been! Here at MyHeritage, we had a busy 2015 full of exciting new features, useful historical content and much more.
We started off the year with a bang, launching the Family Tree Builder Mac Extension. We believe that people should be able to discover and preserve their family history on whatever platform they are comfortable with, and that there is value in the ability to work offline. The new Mac version joins our veteran Windows version available since 2005.
At MyHeritage, we understand the importance of connecting families around the globe, regardless of the language, and we are proud that our worldwide network is available in 42 languages.
This achievement has only been made possible with the support of our dedicated community of volunteers.
We thank each of our wonderful translators for this success. They roll up their sleeves and devote their time and skills to helping others discover, preserve and share their family history in their native languages!
As a leading place for families around the world to discover their family histories, it’s thanks to our many hardworking volunteers that all of MyHeritage's products and features are available in 42 languages.
Last month, we featured Yana's story. This month we spotlight another volunteer who makes it easier for families worldwide to build, preserve and share their family heritage.
Kaarina May is one of our Finnish volunteer translators. Born in Finland of Karelian heritage, Kaarina completed her folk school education in Helsinki and began work in an advertising agency. Before starting her apprenticeship as a layout artist, she received six months' leave to go traveling.
She went to England to improve her language skills and immediately met her future husband, Terry, and never returned to Finland or her apprenticeship. Kaarina began work in a London travel agency and qualified as an agency manager, trainer and internal verifier. She eventually moved into education, and earned a Cambridge University Certificate for Teaching English to Adults.
Here at MyHeritage, we are privileged to receive the help of many volunteer translators, who help make our site accessible to our users in their native languages. We were recently delighted to meet one of our Russian translators - Yana Gourenko - when she visited our offices.
Yana, 29, and her husband live in Moscow, Russia. She studied translation at university, graduated as a translator in English and German, and also speaks a little French. She works for a forensic company doing technical support. Her interests include traveling and meeting new people. She is also an amateur photographer and loves the sea!
We asked Yana a few questions about her own family history, and how she came to translate for MyHeritage:
Where did your love for languages come from?
My love for languages started at school where I began learning English from the second grade. Three years later, I chose to learn French and fell completely in love with learning languages. Without any hesitation, I entered university aiming to become a translator in English and German.
MyHeritage Founder and CEO Gilad Japhet recently presented a keynote address to hundreds of attendees of the IAJGS 2015 conference in Israel. He discussed "Seven Unique Technologies for Discovering Your Family History."
His talk is a great introduction to understanding MyHeritage technologies, Smart Matches, Record Matches, Newspaper Matches and Instant Discoveries. Gilad described new technologies that MyHeritage has recently released, such as Global Name Translation, as well as new technologies that we are about to release.
Click on the video below to watch the full talk:
As part of our global initiative to digitize cemeteries, MyHeritage was contacted by a couple with an interesting idea that allowed them to embark on an international adventure.
Michael Kerr and his wife, Sabrina Rowe, decided to leave the comfort of their home, and bicycle across Europe, stopping to photograph entire cemeteries on the way. All the photos are being shared with the community for free on MyHeritage and BillionGraves.com.