Speaking in tongues: how the crowd istransforming translation
Ever since the first letter was chiseledout of a stone tablet, people haveneeded to translate text into otherlanguages.And while keyboards are somewhatfaster than chisels, the hassle involved
in translating text hasn’t changed much
since Moses tried to tweet the TenCommandments: you have to find atranslator, negotiate the price, send thetext, and then wait a few days for it tocome back.
Because this process is both expensive and time consuming, we’re used to
avoiding it. Usually we only translate documents when we have to, such as anapplication for a foreign visa or an instruction manual for a product to be soldoverseas.Machine translation, such asGoogle Translate,has been around for a few years,
but quality is still an issue. It is a great tool when you personally need tounderstand some foreign text, but it falls far short of the standard required forpublishing.
Enter the crowd
In the last year translations have entered the era of crowdsourcing, transformingthe industry profoundly.