The Wikipedia of news translation: Yeeyan.org’s volunteer community

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Attila Piróth  Identity Verified
France
Local time: 21:17
Member
English to Hungarian
+ ...
Would you recommend this business model? Jun 25, 2010

Hi Romina,

You have posted a few other articles on similar crowdsourcing solutions recently. The present one contains a paragraph that is particularly interesting, in my opinion.

Participation over quality

Kitty told me that there had been much early discussion over whether the site should publish only “good” translations, but in the end they decided that “the gate should be opened to everyone.” Part of their strategy is to encourage readers to become translators. Beginning translators tend to produce rough texts and make many mistakes, says Kitty, but “it is cruel if we don’t even provide a chance.” The policy occasionally drives good translators away from the site,...


My question is this: would you recommend Yeeyan's business model?

Kind regards,
Attila


 

Pablo Bouvier  Identity Verified
Local time: 21:17
German to Spanish
+ ...
Would you recommend this business model? Jun 26, 2010

Attila Piróth wrote:

Hi Romina,

You have posted a few other articles on similar crowdsourcing solutions recently. The present one contains a paragraph that is particularly interesting, in my opinion.

Participation over quality

Kitty told me that there had been much early discussion over whether the site should publish only “good” translations, but in the end they decided that “the gate should be opened to everyone.” Part of their strategy is to encourage readers to become translators. Beginning translators tend to produce rough texts and make many mistakes, says Kitty, but “it is cruel if we don’t even provide a chance.” The policy occasionally drives good translators away from the site,...


My question is this: would you recommend Yeeyan's business model?

Kind regards,
Attila



I am sorry, but I do not add up the numbers of Romina's referenced article...

[Editado a las 2010-06-26 10:38 GMT]


 

Samuel Murray  Identity Verified
Netherlands
Local time: 21:17
Member (2006)
English to Afrikaans
+ ...
Would you recommend this business model? Jun 26, 2010

Attila Piróth wrote:
You have posted a few other articles on similar crowdsourcing solutions recently. The present one contains a paragraph that is particularly interesting, in my opinion.


I think the paragraph must be read in context. Other widely publicised crowdsourcing projects usually involve the translation of a finite text (e.g. the user interface of a social network), but this project deals with the translation of news paper articles, and it is an ongoing project. The article mentions several checks that are in place to increase the quality of the translations. Since good translators are not forced to translate portions of a text that a bad translators had worked on, I don't think as many good translators will be scared off as in some of the other crowdsourcing systems where translators each translate a sentence.


 

RominaZ  Identity Verified
Argentina
English to Spanish
+ ...
I have not participated in a project based on this model Jun 26, 2010

Hi Attila,

I have not participated in a project based on this model so I cannot recommend it. Has anyone? If so what was the experience like?

Romina


 

Attila Piróth  Identity Verified
France
Local time: 21:17
Member
English to Hungarian
+ ...
"The crowdsourcing model cannot work unless volunteers are competent" Jun 28, 2010

The crowdsourcing model cannot work unless volunteers are competent. Companies seeking global reach regularly lose face and money by relying on non-professionals to translate key materials, and the embarrassing results are generally set right by professional translators.


This is from the letter of Jiri Stejkal, ATA's president, written to LinkedIn. Quite clear cut.

Could anyone comment on the quality on the Yeeyan website? Do Jiri's comments apply?

Attila


 

Brian Young  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 12:17
Danish to English
"crowdsourcing translation" Jun 28, 2010

Why not? Who cares whether or not a translation is correct. Let's just put it to a vote. This is democracy in action! If most people think that 2+2=5, then we can re-write mathematics as well.

 

Samuel Murray  Identity Verified
Netherlands
Local time: 21:17
Member (2006)
English to Afrikaans
+ ...
A very narrow view Jun 28, 2010

Attila Piróth wrote:
Jiri Stejkal, ATA's president, written to LinkedIn, wrote:
The crowdsourcing model cannot work unless volunteers are competent. Companies seeking global reach regularly lose face and money by relying on non-professionals to translate key materials, and the embarrassing results are generally set right by professional translators.
Quite clear cut.


Yes, quite clear, especially when one highlights certain key words in his text (as I have done above) which essentially reduces it to flip-flop. And I believe the ATA's president's view is a narrow one. It belies the value that protocols may have in ensuring quality.

Yeeyan's translators do not translate key materials, and all of their translations are by staff, and they have a proofreading feature whereby users can help volunteers become better translators.



[Edited at 2010-06-28 17:04 GMT]


 

Attila Piróth  Identity Verified
France
Local time: 21:17
Member
English to Hungarian
+ ...
Any commenbts on Yeeyan quality? Jun 28, 2010

Samuel Murray wrote:

Yeeyan's translators do not translate key materials, and all of their translations are by staff, and they have a proofreading feature whereby users can help volunteers become better translators.


And the result in terms of quality is...? I am asking input from those who can evaluate the quality of this crowdsourcing effort. As it is in Chinese, I am not in that position.

A similar crowdsourcing model was applied to TED, and judged from the Hungarian translation, a lot of people spent a lot of time to produce something that is a very far cry from professional quality. So, in my opinion, Jiri's comments do apply well to TED.

Attila


 

Samuel Murray  Identity Verified
Netherlands
Local time: 21:17
Member (2006)
English to Afrikaans
+ ...
On TED and Yeeyan Jun 28, 2010

Attila Piróth wrote:
A similar crowdsourcing model was applied to TED...


In TED, there is one translator and one reviewer per video. Two people, in total. Hardly a crowd. It would seem that in some circles (the ATA's president's circle too) crowdsourcing has become just a mindless synonym for "volunteer translation".

...a lot of people spent a lot of time to produce something that is a very far cry from professional quality. So, in my opinion, Jiri's comments do apply well to TED...


Well, I can't judge the Hungarian, but the Afrikaans translations in TED are pretty good, for non-professional volunteer translations. What bugs me about TED is that the speakers of the videos didn't seem to prepare their speeches with translation in mind, so they're infected with culturally biased jokes and infested with half sentences that work well in verb-first languages but sound incoherent in verb-last languages.

The Yeeyan texts are news reports written by journalists with angry sub editors on their backs who make sure that their reports read well and are easily understood by readers.

But you're right -- one should ask some Chinese translators what they think of the quality of the translations. No doubt some of the translations would be terrible and some of them would be near perfect.


 

Lianne Wilson
United Kingdom
Local time: 20:17
Japanese to English
+ ...
China Jun 30, 2010

Surely anything that gets more international information to Chinese citizens is a good thing? OK, the quality might not be top-notch (I don't know, Chinese isn't my thing), but I'd say that that isn't really the point here. The access to information is the important thing.

 

Samuel Murray  Identity Verified
Netherlands
Local time: 21:17
Member (2006)
English to Afrikaans
+ ...
Access to misleading information Jun 30, 2010

Lianne Wilson wrote:
Surely anything that gets more international information to Chinese citizens is a good thing? OK, the quality might not be top-notch (I don't know, Chinese isn't my thing), but I'd say that that isn't really the point here. The access to information is the important thing.


If the translations are incorrect, they may also be misleading. Misleading information isn't better than no information. That's just my opinion.


 

Lianne Wilson
United Kingdom
Local time: 20:17
Japanese to English
+ ...
True Jul 1, 2010

Samuel Murray wrote:

If the translations are incorrect, they may also be misleading. Misleading information isn't better than no information. That's just my opinion.



That's true and I see your point. Without speaking Chinese myself I can't say whether the translations are 'a bit off' or 'totally wrong' though, so I wouldn't like to judge. However, I would've thought they'd get more sense than nonsense, on the whole, so it's probably still worth it.

I suppose my answer to the main question is that I wouldn't necessarily recommend such a business model, but it's probably still better than nothing.


 


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