Off topic: Is Facebook looking for a free translation?
Thread poster: Emmanuelle Hingant

Emmanuelle Hingant  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 13:48
English to French
Nov 26, 2008

Hi there,

I am a little bit concerned by an application recently launched by Facebook. It is called "Translate Facebook". I haven't clicked the "I wish to participate in Facebook's language translation project" button but I had a look at their Terms and Conditions.

Here they are:

Terms Applicable to Translate Facebook
Date of Last Revision: December 13, 2007

The Translate Facebook application collects translations, comments, suggestions, ideas, feedback and other information ("Submissions") from you and other users in connection with Facebook's language translation project to provide Facebook access in multiple languages (the "Project"). You understand that your participation in the Project is for the benefit of the Facebook user community as it will allow users whose participation is currently limited by language to more fully participate. You acknowledge that your participation in the Project is entirely voluntary, and you understand that no monetary or other compensation will be given to persons, including you, for Submissions. You may provide as much or as little input into the Project as you wish and can cease contributing to the Project at any time.

In consideration of Facebook's permitting you to participate in the Project and the benefits to the Facebook user community of which you are a member, you acknowledge and agree that any Submissions that you provide to Facebook will be owned by Facebook. Accordingly, you irrevocably assign to Facebook all right, title and interest, including all intellectual property rights, in and to all Submissions, and Facebook is entitled to the unrestricted use and dissemination of these Submissions for any purpose, commercial or otherwise, without acknowledgment, consent or monetary or other tangible compensation to you. To the extent that the foregoing assignment is or becomes invalid or unenforceable to any degree or for any reason, you grant Facebook an irrevocable, perpetual, exclusive, fully-paid-up, royalty-free, worldwide right and license, with the right to sublicense, to use, reproduce, display, perform, create derivative works of, distribute and otherwise exploit the Submissions in any manner.

Please note: Translate Facebook is subject to and governed by these Additional Terms Applicable to Translate Facebook (the "Additional Terms") as well as the Facebook Terms of Use. In the event of any conflict between these Additional Terms and the Facebook Terms of Use, these Additional Terms control. Capitalized terms that are not defined in these Additional Terms will have the definitions provided them in the Terms of Use. Facebook reserves the right, in our sole discretion, to change, modify, add, or delete portions of these Additional Terms at any time without further notice. If we do this, we will post the changes to these Additional Terms on this page and will indicate at the top of this page the date these terms were last revised. You agree to waive any specific notice of such changes, and your continued use and operation of Translate Facebook after any such changes constitutes your acceptance of the new Additional Terms. It is your responsibility to regularly check the Site to determine if there have been changes to these Additional Terms.


I am appalled by this as they are basically asking for random people (non professional translators) to translate their website FOR FREE! I know, I shouldn't be surprised anymore as everyone seem to think that when you can speak more than one language, you are able to be a translator. But still... Is this legal? Doesn't Facebook have enough money to have proper translators do the job? Why are we letting our job be humiliated that way?

I actually invite you to join the "Leave translation to translators" group on Facebook, 4800-member strong.

Sorry, I am really astonished by this offer. We've reach the bottom I'm afraid...

Emma


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Clarisa Moraña  Identity Verified
Argentina
Local time: 09:48
Member (2002)
English to Spanish
+ ...
Hi5 too! Nov 26, 2008

Check this: http://www.hi5networks.com/blog/2008/10/hi5_increases_global_reach_wit.html

And the translations are also validated:
To ensure high-quality translations, community-driven languages are rated by the community, validated by Lionbridge (NASDAQ: LIOX), the leading provider of translation and localization services, and tested by hi5's own localization team.



Why would you pay for a translation is the world is plenty of probono translators whose work is validated by the leading provider of translation services?


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Claudia Alvis  Identity Verified
Peru
Local time: 07:48
Partial member
Spanish
+ ...
Crowdsourcing Nov 26, 2008

That is called Crowdsourcing and its use is spreading more and more each day, not only in these Web 2.0 social networks, but in other areas in the localization business. And that's all I'm gonna say because the last time I tried to express my concern about this, I was banned for a week.

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Ali Bayraktar  Identity Verified
Turkey
Member (2007)
English to Turkish
+ ...
From Facebook? Nov 26, 2008

Claudia Alvis wrote:
And that's all I'm gonna say because the last time I tried to express my concern about this, I was banned for a week.


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Claudia Alvis  Identity Verified
Peru
Local time: 07:48
Partial member
Spanish
+ ...
From ProZ Nov 26, 2008

M. Ali Bayraktar wrote:

Claudia Alvis wrote:
And that's all I'm gonna say because the last time I tried to express my concern about this, I was banned for a week.



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xxxMilena Bosco  Identity Verified
Italy
Local time: 14:48
English to Italian
+ ...
Banned? Nov 26, 2008

No kidding. Claudia, I would have given you free membership for a month or two.

Have a great one,
Milena


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Emmanuelle Hingant  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 13:48
English to French
TOPIC STARTER
Are we the only ones? Nov 27, 2008

But are we the only profession that has no control over the job?

Actually, I can find another example of a deregulated profession. Do you cut your husband's/partner's hair? I do. We bought a machine and I cut his hair about once a month. Recently I asked him to go to the hairdresser because his hair is starting to get out of control. Of course it is! I am not a professional hairdresser and still, I am doing the job... And he replies, jokingly (he's a freelance translator as well): "I don't care about quality!" Yes, if you can have it for free, why pay? Even if quality suffers.

And how can we NOT have any control over tariffs, or against crowdsourcing (thank you Claudia)? Like movie piracy is against the law, how come crowdsourcing is not against the law?

Emma


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Phil Bird
United Kingdom
Local time: 13:48
Spanish to English
+ ...
Interesting experiment Nov 28, 2008

We can protest - or refuse to do it. But if people do it and it works for Facebook, then lucky them!

There's nothing illegal in what they're doing - it's the wikipedia principle - some of it is good, some is terrible - that's probably what they are going to end up with...

I have to admit - I had a look round, more out of curiosity than approval...

Of course if trained professionals are dedicating time to this - it would be pretty daft. There are far more worthy causes for probono work than Facebook.

It does raise some interesting points - for a lot of the stuff they want translated, just asking native speakers "what sounds right" probably works.

That suggests that professionals should dedicate themselves to the areas where high levels of quality and reliability are essential. I'm not sure I'd want my contract to be drawn up through crowdsourcing


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Enrique Cavalitto
Local time: 09:48
SITE STAFF
You were never banned in ProZ.com Nov 28, 2008

Claudia Alvis wrote:

From ProZ

M. Ali Bayraktar wrote:

Claudia Alvis wrote:
And that's all I'm gonna say because the last time I tried to express my concern about this, I was banned for a week.



Hi Claudia,

You were never banned in ProZ.com.

On July 23 a post of your was deleted because it departed from the posted topic of a thread (rule http://www.proz.com/siterules/forum/4#4 ), and then you re-posted along the same lines. Because of this your forum posts required approval from moderators for a week.

Regards,
Enrique


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Neil Coffey  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 13:48
French to English
+ ...
High horses and all that... Nov 29, 2008

OK, first of all: the "is it legal" question. They're basically asking a community "please do this task for free, then sign over all the rights to it to us". You might personally not want to enter into such an agreement, but for the cases where both parties are willing, do you really want a world where this is actually *illegal*?

Beyond that, the thing that you need to accept is that there are thousands and thousands of people who, in their day to day lives, work with some level of multilingualism, even though they haven't "officially" been on the X-month "MA in Translation" course that you maybe assume would magically transform them from linguistically incapable into genius translators.

There are probably millions of non-Anglophones round the world doing university courses in all subjects you can think of, where pretty much all the reading material is in English. And guess what, between them they probably *can* figure out how to translate the phrase "My Contacts" into their respective native languages...!


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Phil Bird
United Kingdom
Local time: 13:48
Spanish to English
+ ...
Proz.com just as bad! Nov 29, 2008

Just noticed that Proz is doing something similar with it's conversion to Unicode - asking people to check if text displays correctly - they could have hired professional proofreaders/testers.

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