A crowdsourced translation unit for Edgeryders?

We have such a wealth of linguistic diversity on Edgeryders it makes me wonder if we could develop a service for crowdsourced translations that are quick and accurate – where various documents are translated and members of the translation unit get rewarded, monetarily and otherwise, for their distributed efforts – a kind of Amazon Mechanical Turk system but with much higher morale and purpose (and better compensation). I can think of many clients besides ourselves who would find this type of work valuable, NGOs, SME’s.

We could build it on top of Google Docs (for now, since it’s so good with version tracking and real-time collab – then later move to something open source).  We could use the fruit of this kind of work for internal use and for clients. I thought about this idea when struggling to think about how much content we have that could stand to be localized.


i could refashion the Edgeryders Agency website I created that never got used to propel these types of services.

Who does the work…

… you know what comes next, right? :wink:

I am not against this. If somebody wants to build a prototype under the Edgeryders banner, we can talk. The precondition, as always, is that then the person leads: and that also means taking responsibility for delivering the service flawlessly, so as to reinforce the reputation of Edgeryders as a community of doers.

I want to do it. :slight_smile:

I want to do it (have always wanted to). :slight_smile:

Why not join up with guerrilla translation?

Guerrilla translation is already doing that I think it would make sense to join forces with them. I believe they are also looking at setting it up as an open value network so very interesting model.


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They only do spanish at the moment and are swamped

I followed your advice and got in touch…

interesting and I want to help … I think it will be alot of work but let’s discuss it and c how we can start with something like that ,

can u tell more about how do u think we should start , what languages , what to start with … etc @Said Hamideh

aslo ping @Abdo  may be interesting for him as we were just discussing scaling up and language issues

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on language dexterity and community?

Crowd Source translation

Hi everyone. A few words about me - dedicated language freak, musician, running a language culture tech startup and very interesting in exploring crowd-sourced translation, especially in a game format. Interested for a while to explore alternative forms of translation and crowd-sourcing is high on my list. I know roughly how DuoLingo do it - and it seems to working for them, and would be very interested to get more hookups with people in the space and see how we could build something collectively.

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Yes, much to explore here

That area you are diving into is indeed one with lots of unexplored options how “translating” could be organized. For example, I like Ackuna for being a gratis translation site of great help in software and website internationalization … but I always wondered, why do they do it like this, trying to let people translate for the “fun” of it, rather than introducing a little points-type currency system. You earn points by translating, you spend points on translations. Since it’s all about small translation jobs (small investments of time, no investment of cash money), the trust issues are limited and a mini-currency can indeed work there. (No need for applying heavier tooling to deal with the trust issues in larger alternative currency transactions, like we try with Makerfox.)

I am not aware of any translation site using a complementary currency (points or something) as a mode of functioning. Just meant as input for your thinking about different ways to organize translations … or maybe you know that site that I missed …


Thanks for the link Matthias. Ackuna looks interesting - a great start. It is good to see someone innovating in this space… I’ll probably start looking more heavily into these translation ideas in a month or so - I’m looking to set up an open call to find ‘new modes’ of translation, and then will dirty prototype (paper or similar) a few of them to see what kind of results they get.

For example, if you gamify translation by asking users to translate differently from each other - how does the result differ from asking them to second guess each others’ translations and come up with the simplest translation they can?

Makerfox looks excellent too. Would like to connect and find out more.

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Interesting questions

I am sure you’ll also get interesting results with these new approaches! And while we’re at the translation topic: I once tried to find an “instant human translation of text” solution that would enable me to take part naturally and timely in a foreign-language forum. I did not find the exact thing, but some hacks around this, and other interesting translation projects – see my blog post about it.

And you’re much welcome to try the Makerfox platform of course :slight_smile: Maybe create an account, look around, read a bit about the background in the Makerfox group that I linked, esp. this document. And doing so, feel free to ask and inspire me with anything that comes to mind.

Blog post

Excellent roundup on translation, very interesting, thanks

Re: Guerrila Translation

Hi, Folks,

I’m Stacco of Guerrilla Translation, here’s a bit more about us if you’re not familiar but in brief, we’re building a high-quality translation service, human-powered but not crowdsourced. I’m adding a few thoughts here because I’d been invited to by Nadia. Now, one thing I’m going to say up front is that we’re built on a perhaps somewhat different principle than what you guys might be aiming for, in that we believe that the final translation needs to be translated by a team of no more than perhaps 2 or 3 experienced, agile translators and a coordinating copy editor to bring it together, in order to be the very best quality translation that the material deserves. Our own experience with crowdsourced translation in the final result is that, while the experience might have been quite rewarding for the participants, the translation suffers. We’ve been involved in helping to improve the end result of more than one of these crowdsourced works, so we speak from intimate experience.

What I’d offer is that we might find some mutually beneficial ground where we can collaborate, if you’re interested in participating in our process. We’re hoping to team-build up to the point where our model can be spun off as one or more “phyles”, and to do that we’d need to work in close cooperation with any potential participants in order to keep the quality standard up to the reputation we’ve built. If anyone would like to talk with us about how we might develop this idea, we’re open to collaboration with Edgeryders.




No same-size-fits-all in translation

Thanks for the insights! :slight_smile: I’d definitely agree that for quality literature, esp. longer pieces of books, too many cooks spoil the broth. You seem to have a similar approach as, both regarding quality and text selection, ass Traducciones Procomun … maybe you even know them? @perulera has coordinated some of their translation projects, including Yochai Benkler’s “The Wealth of Networks”. (@perulera maybe you can link Stacco to that conference proceedings paper about the way Traducciones Procomun works, in case it’s already online somewhere?)

I assume the original idea at the start of this thread was a “daily use quality” translation of shorter pieces of text, but with very high language diversity … more like being a translator as a regular job … but now that I think about it, where’s the intrinsic motivation, the sense of meaning in this concept? I can easily see how that works for Guerrilla Translation, and how translating can be rewarding there even if for free. But @Said Hamideh, how did you intend this to be in your proposal? Doing something just for money is regularly a poor motivation for achieving quality and fun :wink:

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