ProZ.com global directory of translation services
 The translation workplace
Ideas

 
Pages in topic:   [1 2] >
User
Thread poster: Roy Williams
Cloudsourcing & SpeakLike

Roy Williams  Identity Verified
Austria
Local time: 06:48
German to English
Jul 5, 2010

Hello all,

I've recently stumble upon a "cloud sourcing" (whatever that means) website calle speaklike. This site allows translators to earn money by registering, logging on and translating emails, tweets, chats etc.
As a new freelance trying to establish a customer base and score regular work, their concept seems enticing but at the same time somewhat dubious. Or maybe I'm being unnecessarily supicious.

Has anyone out there ever worked with or have any experience with SpeakLike or a similar cloudsourcing entity?


Direct link
 
Kevin Fulton
United States
Local time: 00:48
German to English
Nothing to lose but time Jul 5, 2010

If you have more time on your hands than work, you might consider taking a job or two, purely for the purpose of résumé building. It's not as though you're taking on a 10 thousand word report from a dubious source with the possibility of not getting paid.

Consider cloudsourcing a potentially more profitable activity than watching television. If you're good at multitasking, you could potentially do both at the same time.

But you're not going to make any serious money, and the growth potential is practically nil.


Direct link
 

Michael Wetzel  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 06:48
German to English
Crowdsourcing Jul 6, 2010

"Cloudsourcing" seems to be more or less a euphimism (plus a minimal factual distinction) for "crowdsourcing" = unpaid work posted in internet and carried out by users.

What kind of rates are they offering and are there any strange clauses that make an actual payment improbable? Is there an initial registration fee that makes profits unlikely? Do they really pay in cash that you could then withdraw from you bank account, or do they pay with some kind of points or credits?

If they pay in cash, then it sounds like a standard auction platform for particularly badly paid odd jobs (private e-mails, etc.) and you should do it if you're interested and if it makes sense in the context of your business plan.

Michael

P.S. Out of curiosity, I just took a look at the site. It seems to be little more than an unconventional marketing strategy for a more or less conventional translation agency. "More or less conventional" = in addition to the aspects that look like a "normal" agency, they are very open about their interest in bottom-of-the-barrel jobs and accepting unqualified translators (= "cloudsourcing" element).



[Bearbeitet am 2010-07-06 07:21 GMT]


Direct link
 

Roy Williams  Identity Verified
Austria
Local time: 06:48
German to English
TOPIC STARTER
Thanks Jul 6, 2010

Thanks for the tip. There's usually nothing on TV anyway;-)

Direct link
 
Paul_G
Hello from SpeakLike Team Jul 6, 2010

Hi Roy -- Thanks for starting this thread!

Hi Kevin & Michael -- Thanks for offering feedback.

In full disclosure, I'm a product manager at SpeakLike. I'm going to try addressing the points mentioned. If I miss anything or you would like more information, please don't hesitate to email me directly at pgleger@speaklike.com

In brief, our goal is to make cross-border communication accessible to all. This is why we approach translation through a crowdsourced model. For our translators this means high volume of jobs as we continue to grow, no worries about managing tasks (our platform handles this), "smart routing" of jobs based on translator language and subject matter expertise, and of course flexible side income. We specialize in human translation that is fast, affordable, and of quality.

As Kevin mentioned, most of our translators have full time jobs and translate for SpeakLike in their spare time (although some spend considerable time on our platform).

To address Michael's valid points: signing up as a SpeakLike translator is absolutely free. We pay all translators once per month via Paypal. Part of the sign up process includes checking quality of translators through a brief SpeakLike verification process. As for the type of translations submitted through our system, it ranges from twitter updates, to images from our iPhone App, to short pieces from professional service documents. As you can tell, the jobs are quite diverse.

I would be more than happy to speak with you via skype or phone to explain the translation process in more detail.

Thanks again for the lively discussion and I hope I addressed most of the points raised! For more information about joining the SpeakLike community, have a look here: http://www.speaklike.com/translators/become-a-speaklike-translator/.

I hope this helps!!

All the best,

Paul


Direct link
 

Roy Williams  Identity Verified
Austria
Local time: 06:48
German to English
TOPIC STARTER
re: crowdsourcing Jul 7, 2010


Michael Wetzel wrote:

"Cloudsourcing" seems to be more or less a euphimism (plus a minimal factual distinction) for "crowdsourcing" = unpaid work posted in internet and carried out by users.

What kind of rates are they offering and are there any strange clauses that make an actual payment improbable? Is there an initial registration fee that makes profits unlikely? Do they really pay in cash that you could then withdraw from you bank account, or do they pay with some kind of points or credits?

If they pay in cash, then it sounds like a standard auction platform for particularly badly paid odd jobs (private e-mails, etc.) and you should do it if you're interested and if it makes sense in the context of your business plan.





[Bearbeitet am 2010-07-06 07:21 GMT]


Hello Micheal, your questions are the excatly those that I've been pondering. From what I understand, they do pay cash but next to nothing as was previously stated. I suppose it would be something I would consider during times of sporadic workflow and I really have absolutely nothing better to do as well as being out of snacks.


Direct link
 

Jabberwock  Identity Verified
Poland
Local time: 06:48
Member (2004)
English to Polish
How nice... Jul 7, 2010

In other words, it's a low-paying agency that provides low-quality translations done by amateur translators. How sweet.

While I understand perfectly well that such operation might have its place in the market, I just hope it will stay on the fringes of the translation industry.


Direct link
 

Madeleine MacRae Klintebo  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 05:48
Swedish to English
+ ...
Sounds like a great business plan, but... Jul 7, 2010


Paul_G wrote:

In brief, our goal is to make cross-border communication accessible to all. This is why we approach translation through a crowdsourced model. For our translators this means high volume of jobs as we continue to grow, no worries about managing tasks (our platform handles this), "smart routing" of jobs based on translator language and subject matter expertise, and of course flexible side income. We specialize in human translation that is fast, affordable, and of quality.


Did you by any chance run this idea by a localisation expert/translator before writing the business plan?


As Kevin mentioned, most of our translators have full time jobs and translate for SpeakLike in their spare time (although some spend considerable time on our platform).


Ah, not I get it. You're not actually looking for quality and professional translators. As someone in a full-time job, and still doing a some freelancing, I can assure you that professional translators in this situation have very little "spare time". And anyone who of those who "spend considerable time on our platform" is unlikely to be a professional, particularly someone in a full-time job. To me it looks more like you're aiming for desperate unemployed persons with a rudimentary knowledge of a foreign language and little else to do.


Direct link
 

Samuel Murray  Identity Verified
Netherlands
Local time: 06:48
Member (2006)
English to Afrikaans
+ ...
Posting in forums versus doing spare-time translations Jul 8, 2010


Madeleine MacRae Klintebo wrote:

Paul_G wrote:
As Kevin mentioned, most of our translators have full time jobs and translate for SpeakLike in their spare time (although some spend considerable time on our platform).

As someone in a full-time job, and still doing a some freelancing, I can assure you that professional translators in this situation have very little "spare time".


You do have enough time to read forums and post replies. Some translators don't find forum participation as relaxing as you and I do, but enjoy adding variety to their translation work instead.


Direct link
 

Roy Williams  Identity Verified
Austria
Local time: 06:48
German to English
TOPIC STARTER
Re. Jul 8, 2010


Paul_G wrote:

Hi Roy -- Thanks for starting this thread!

Hi Kevin & Michael -- Thanks for offering feedback.

In full disclosure, I'm a product manager at SpeakLike. I'm going to try addressing the points mentioned. If I miss anything or you would like more information, please don't hesitate to email me directly at pgleger@speaklike.com

In brief, our goal is to make cross-border communication accessible to all. This is why we approach translation through a crowdsourced model. For our translators this means high volume of jobs as we continue to grow, no worries about managing tasks (our platform handles this), "smart routing" of jobs based on translator language and subject matter expertise, and of course flexible side income. We specialize in human translation that is fast, affordable, and of quality.

As Kevin mentioned, most of our translators have full time jobs and translate for SpeakLike in their spare time (although some spend considerable time on our platform).

To address Michael's valid points: signing up as a SpeakLike translator is absolutely free. We pay all translators once per month via Paypal. Part of the sign up process includes checking quality of translators through a brief SpeakLike verification process. As for the type of translations submitted through our system, it ranges from twitter updates, to images from our iPhone App, to short pieces from professional service documents. As you can tell, the jobs are quite diverse.

I would be more than happy to speak with you via skype or phone to explain the translation process in more detail.

Thanks again for the lively discussion and I hope I addressed most of the points raised! For more information about joining the SpeakLike community, have a look here: http://www.speaklike.com/translators/become-a-speaklike-translator/.

I hope this helps!!

All the best,

Paul


Thanks for resonding and providing some clarity.


Direct link
 

Giovanni Guarnieri MITI, MIL  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 05:48
Member (2004)
English to Italian
ah, ah... Jul 8, 2010

"Home" is translated as "casa" (house) in the Italian localization... there you go!

Direct link
 
Paul_G
Thanks for the conversation... Jul 8, 2010

Hi Madeleine, Jabberwock, and Roy,

I think all of you raise good points. As mentioned (on our website and in my previous reply), we're completely transparent about our core service - fast, quality, and affordable human translations for all.

At the moment, our focus is on a market segment we can relate to best, which is day-to-day business translations for company communications. We appreciate and highly value expert translators like those on this forum - you provide a spectacular service that's critical for cross-border communication. We're equally thankful to have many talented translators contributing within the SpeakLike translator community.

I encourage you and others on the thread to try out SpeakLike. I realize you're very busy with your own projects, so perhaps SpeakLike is not suited for your needs - that's understandable. However we are always learning and improving our platform to meet translator and client needs. Therefore your feedback is always welcome as we genuinely value your professional expertise.

Sending best wishes,

Paul


Direct link
 

Alexandre Maricato
Brazil
Local time: 03:48
Member (2009)
English to Portuguese
Could not find your rates Jul 11, 2010

I visited your website and could not find the rates you pay for translators. As a 'fast-food' type translation agency, I believe such information should be disclosed to potential service providers from the beginning.

And your home page in Portuguese looks like a Google translation output. Just to mention one of the cases, "mobile translation"was translated as "tradução móvel", which could be reverse translated as something like "a movable translation".

If I was a potential costumer and saw the quality you accept for the promotion of your own services, I would not risk my money on them.

This is just a constructive feedback. And some points you should consider when using translators with such profile:

"Translation experience is preferred but not essential. If you can translate quickly and accurately (like an interpreter), have strong typing skills, and already spend a lot of time on the Internet..."


Direct link
 

Michael Wetzel  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 06:48
German to English
sounds OK Jul 14, 2010

Dear Paul,
It is a pleasure to hear from someone who can actually do PR. Clear, non-confrontational, etc. - it's a gift.

Like MTs, I think your services are a legitimate part of the foreign-language-services market. It is a fact that there is a large pool of hobby-translators out there and a large volume of texts in the wrong language that need to be converted in some rudimentary form into the right language. You've probably found a significant market and may have the right business plan to dominate it.

Sincerely,
Michael


Direct link
 

Jennifer Gal  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 00:48
Hungarian to English
+ ...
excessive concerns? Jul 15, 2010

I don't quite understand the problem some of you have with the SpeakLike concept. For one thing, just because they cast their net to a wider base of multilingual people doesn't mean that an excellent translator who might work for them would suffer by affiliation. Good work is good work, and for true professionals it's the only kind that's acceptable regardless of the client.

Also, employing people with lesser language skills doesn't threaten the status or standing of professional translators because they aren't viable competitors for high level jobs anyway. Highly trained professional translators are not needed for every type of translation. For instance, I can envision it being easier to translate a brief text message than a medical report. I'm not saying across the board, but in some or most cases. If a certain translator is doing poorly even on basic twitter messages, SpeakLike would almost certainly hear about it and weed out that substandard translator.

On their home page I did notice an option for "Style" criteria whereby a customer can add standards or specifications beyond the basic SpeakLike service. Since the baseline rates are quite low, the 'style' option almost constitutes an inclusiveness feature, meaning that average people sending inconsequential messages can afford service at that level, while those who need higher quality control can pay extra while remaining cost effective, or so it would seem.

As to disclosing their pay rates, I work for a major, full service phone interpreting agency and they don't disclose their rates on the website, nor does the well-known, high volume agency I previously worked for. So, I wouldn't necessarily consider nondisclosure of pay rates a bad sign, but I might be in the minority.

Incidentally, I have no stake in defending this company. I've never worked for them, nor do I have any other information about their ethical history or customer satisfaction. I do think it's a niche that will appeal to some private and business clients.

On the other hand, I also encountered a few spelling errors on their website, and I can hardly believe that any language services company would use an automatic translator for their own web page.

Nevertheless, I might give it a try and report back with first hand experience.

[Módosítva: 2010-07-15 23:51 GMT]


Direct link
 
Pages in topic:   [1 2] >


To report site rules violations or get help, contact a site moderator:

Moderator(s) of this forum
Jorge Rodrigues[Call to this topic]
Jenn Mercer[Call to this topic]
Rita Pang[Call to this topic]

You can also contact site staff by submitting a support request »

Cloudsourcing & SpeakLike







Déjà Vu X3
Try it, Love it

Find out why Déjà Vu is today the most flexbible, customizable and user-friendly tool on the market. See the brand new features in action: Completely redesigned user interface Live Preview Inline spell checking Inline formatting and more

More info »
PerfectIt consistency checker
Faster Checking, Greater Accuracy

PerfectIt helps deliver error-free documents. It improves consistency, ensures quality and helps to enforce style guides. It’s a powerful tool for pro users, and comes with the assurance of a 30-day money back guarantee.

More info »