Crowdsourced Translation and Medium
Thread poster: Dmitry Kornyukhov

Dmitry Kornyukhov  Identity Verified
Canada
Local time: 11:52
English to Russian
+ ...
Aug 10, 2014

Dear colleagues,
As you probably know, Medium, a blogging platform developed by Twitter co-founder Evan Williams has decided to use the power of crowdsourced translation (PEMT). I don't think that it is a good idea, especially for Medium, where creativity flows from every single page. I've shared my opinion here: https://medium.com/translators-thoughts/do-not-translate-medium-e727bafb5029
And I'm wondering, what's your take on crowdsourced translation? Does it have any future? Or will it eventually seize to exist with companies realizing that the quality of their translations play a more important role than the cost?
I do believe that crowdsourced translation can work for some industries, but Medium deserves something much better than poorly edited machine translation. I've explained this to people at Medium but I would really appreciate it if you could spend a few minutes of your time and let them know that translation should be done by professionals, especially when it comes to something very creative. Here is a link to their original post: https://medium.com/the-story/translate-medium-359ebb19d738 where you'll find more info and their email address.


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LilianNekipelov  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 11:52
Russian to English
+ ...
Volunteer, or low-pay crowdsource translation? Aug 10, 2014

No, it does not have any future, in my opinion, as a reliable method of translating anything. It may be good for some gossipy blog, if they don't mistranslate too many things and get sued for slander.

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finnword1
United States
Local time: 11:52
English to Finnish
+ ...
You get what you pay for Aug 10, 2014

I have seen translations of operating manuals of some very sophisticated hospital equipment made by reputable companies, obviously machine-translated and minimally, if at all edited. I realize that a 200+ page book is very costly to have human-translated, but what if a patient dies as a result of a translation error? The manufacturer could be slapped with a million dollar law suit. Talk about being penny wise and pound foolish!

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LilianNekipelov  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 11:52
Russian to English
+ ...
I don't envy those patients Aug 11, 2014

if the manuals of some important medical equipment were machine translated. I've seen many things as well--it does not mean that they are of any acceptable quality. I don't know what a reputable translation company is, either--if they use MT, they most likely aren't. Do you mean big companies, with fancy websites? I think we can only talk about reputable translators--translation is an individual thing, with individual liability.

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ToFrench  Identity Verified
France
Local time: 17:52
English to French
A good thing for a blogging platform. Aug 11, 2014

I have seen it on Medium yesterday. The whole idea of crowdsourcing translation for a blogging platform sounds really great to me. Medium is not a professional service and writers there are not professional journalists (with probably some exceptions however). It's somehow like translating a Wikipedia article to your native language. It's called volunteering.

The only drawback being that they will throw an automatic, Google made, translation and let you edit it. This is going to result in poorly translations.

Maybe you are concerned about the threat that crowdsourcing translation may pose to our industry. I don't think it will, not more or less that automatic translation. Translation is something which requires experience and expertise, it may be done by amateurs, but you will never get the same quality of work.

Plus, crowdsourcing must be fun for people to get involved with. It works for Wikipedia, it may work for Medium, but other that that who will translate stuff for nothing, so some company can have it for free? Where is the fun part?


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LilianNekipelov  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 11:52
Russian to English
+ ...
Why would people volunteer, though? Aug 11, 2014

Is the purpose of the site so grand--like ending the world hunger, or wars?

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neilmac  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 17:52
Spanish to English
+ ...
Pig in a poke Aug 11, 2014

The analogy of infinite monkey theorem springs to mind...

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