Crowdsourcing is about tapping into the power of people to solve problems. A few decades ago, Wikipedia launched a crowdsourcing campaign asking the public to help write encyclopedia entries. Today, we use crowdsourced translation to refer to projects that involve enlisting volunteers to translate text online. In addition to Wikipedia, many companies have launched crowdsourced translation platforms. One of the earliest examples was Yahoo! Babel Fish, which allowed users to submit translated words and phrases. In 2012, Microsoft launched Bing Translator, which allows anyone to submit translated text.
Facebook recently introduced its own version of crowdsourced translation called Translate Facebook. Anyone can join the app and contribute translations. Users can earn points for each translation they make. To date, Facebook says it has received over one billion contributions.
What Makes Crowdsourced Translation such an Attractive Option?
The two biggest reasons companies turn toward crowdsourced translation for their language needs are speed and cost, according to the International Association for Business Communication (IABC). They say it is important to understand what makes crowdsourced translation attractive to businesses.
If you choose one of the crowd-sourcing services, you do not need to hire any translators, but you get a huge, inexpensive labor force. You don’t have to pay anyone to translate anything, because the work gets done automatically by volunteers.
Also, since there are so many people working on different parts of your project at the same moment, the turnaround time is very short.
Another benefit is that you have full access to the foreign market where you want to expand your business. This means your potential clients perform the translations for you. As a result, you save money and time.
Why You Need to Do Better
Translation is hard and it gets harder every day. With the rise of globalization and the Internet, we’re seeing more people communicating across borders. Translation technology is improving, but there’s still a lot left to do.
Facebook is trying to solve this problem by tapping into the crowd. They’ve launched CrowdSource Translate, a tool where anyone can translate text into another language. But while CrowdSource Translate claims to be able to produce high-quality translations, it’s not perfect.
The biggest limitation of CrowdSource Translate is that it doesn’t use linguists. Instead, it relies on volunteers who speak both languages. This leads to lower-quality translations.
To make matters worse, CrowdSource Translate uses machine learning to improve over time. So even though the quality might start out low, it’ll eventually get better.
But what about the fact that CrowdSource Translate is crowdsourced? What does that mean? Well, in short, it means that the quality of the translations produced depends entirely on the number of people participating. If there aren’t many participants, the quality won’t be very good.
And that brings us back to our original question: why would you ever choose any alternative to crowdsourcing translation? Because it’s not perfect. Even if you don’t care about the quality of the translation, you still want to ensure that your website and marketing materials are translated correctly.
Some examples of crowdsourcing projects
Wikipedia is one of the most popular crowdsourcing projects. The site allows anyone to contribute articles, images, videos, and audio files. Volunteers write, edit and proofread entries. They even translate texts into different languages.
The idea behind Wikipedia is simple: people from around the globe collaborate to create free knowledge. In 2006, Jimmy Wales founded the Wikimedia Foundation, which runs Wikipedia.
Another good example is Facebook. When Mark Zuckerberg wanted to launch his social network, he knew that the success of the venture depended on reaching a large number of potential users. So he turned to the crowd. He asked his friends to help him build a website that could connect everyone on the planet. And thus Facebook was born.
What are the drawbacks of crowdsourcing?
Crowdsourcing translation is a great way to quickly bring products to market without having to spend money on expensive localization resources. But there are some myths floating around out there that make people think crowdsourcing is too risky, or it won’t work. We’re here to set the record straight.
Myth #1: Crowdsourcing Translations Is Risky
When you start a project with a crowdsourcing marketplace like Crowdin, you don’t just hire anyone off the street. You go through a rigorous screening process to ensure quality control and consistency. When you use a crowdsourcing marketplace, you know exactly what you’ll receive. If you choose to accept the lowest bid, you’ll end up with a poor translation.
Myth #2: Crowdsourcing Translators Are Cheap
The truth is, crowdsourcing translators are often cheaper than hiring full-time employees. In fact, it’s usually much less costly to pay freelancers per hour than it is to pay salaries. Plus, you get access to thousands of qualified professionals who speak multiple languages.
Myth #3: Crowdsourcing Translator Quality Will Deteriorate Over Time
This one really gets us. Many people believe that once you’ve hired a translator, you lose control over the final product. This couldn’t be further from the truth. As long as you provide feedback and guidance, you retain total editorial control. And even though you might not see every single word, you still have the opportunity to review each piece individually.
What is better than Crowdsourced Translation?
There are many options available for translating content into different languages. Some companies offer crowdsourcing solutions where you can outsource the work to others. Others provide machine translation services that translate text automatically. Still, others offer professional translation services that combine human intelligence with technology.
The most effective way to ensure that your content is properly translated is to use a professional translator. They have access to specialized tools that help them produce accurate translations quickly and consistently. These include sophisticated translation memory systems, proprietary dictionaries, and automated translation engines.
Professional translators understand the nuances of each language and culture. They also have the ability to adapt their style based on the audience and context. For example, a Spanish speaker might write a sentence differently than someone from Germany. A French speaker might choose a word that sounds better in English. An Italian speaker might make a cultural reference that wouldn’t resonate with an American audience.
Therefore, using professional translator services or translation agencies will work best in every situation. They can identify the best way to communicate information in a variety of contexts.