4 Reasons Organizations Should Crowdsource Their Translations

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4 Reasons Organizations Should Crowdsource Their Translations

Crowdsourcing has been firmly established as a valid and often preferable method for reaching organizational goals and accomplishing more with the same dollars. However, while crowdsourcing works very well for some problems, it may not be a viable solution for others. As the tools become available to crowdsource translation projects, it’s important to evaluate why organizations crowdsource in general and if those criteria are a good fit for crowdsourced translation initiatives.


In this article I’ll address four benefits organizations receive from crowdsourcing in general and evaluate if those benefits transfer effectively to translation projects.

1. Cost Savings

Cost savings is commonly the single biggest reason for crowdsourcing. Projects can be completed at a fraction of the cost of using a single provider. This is often due to the involvement of volunteer labor and the ability to leveraging service providers across the globe and at a greatly decreased price.

Cost savings are easily achievable in translation projects by utilizing bi-linguals who have an interest in the organization, or are simply interested in making a contribution. Partners, customers, affiliates, and content-matter experts are examples of community members that may want to assist in translation efforts.

In addition to leveraging volunteer involvement, you can also utilize translation marketplaces and crowdsourcing tools such as Amazon’s Mechanical Turk to find translators willing to work at a cost well below the industry average. Initial studies conducted by Lingotek show that by utilizing these tools the average cost-per-word can be decreased from $0.23 to under $0.03.

2. Increased Speed / Distributing Risk

Another common reason organizations want to crowdsource is to increase the speed of projects thus decreasing the total time to completion. By engaging the crowd, work is distributed across a broad swath of participants and is not dependant upon any individual. The slack from any single participant is picked up and handled by other participants thus preventing bottlenecks in moving the project forward and distributing the risk. 

The translation industry stands to receive a huge benefit from the increased speed and distribution of risk that crowdsourcing provides. In the traditional translation model content is sent to an individual translator and disappears into the “translation black hole.” Organizations are often left completely dependent on a single individual translator for the quality and timeliness of their critical translation projects.

By utilizing the crowd and cloud-based translation tools, these risks are distributed across multiple translators who can work efficiently in moving the project forward. Not only are the quality and time risks alleviated, but additional benefits are realized by translators reviewing each other’s work thus improving the overall translation quality. In addition, since the nature of the translation industry involves people globally, translators in Europe can keep the project moving forward while translators in the U.S. sleep and vice versa.

3. Increased efficiencies

The power of the crowd allows for a very efficient distribution of resources. The knowledge of the crowd can often alert organizations to the most critical issues thus helping them to prioritize with great ease and effectiveness. Much how a market economy invisibly sets prices, the crowd can invisibly provide organizations with the knowledge and resources they need when they need them. This prevents organizations from unnecessarily utilizing time and resources on initiatives that provide a low return.

The crowd can provide these same efficiencies in translation projects. In today’s content-rich environment it can be hard to choose exactly what content needs to be translated and which content is of minor importance. It’s often unrealistic to translate all of your content, particularly the mass of content generated by an online community. The crowd can help organizations identify the most important content to ensure translation work proceeds with maximum impact and minimal cost.

The crowd can also help determine in which languages there is the most demand for your content. Some content may be relevant to Spanish speakers while other content may be of interest to French speakers. While it’s unrealistic to translate all your content into all languages, by utilizing the crowd you can translate only the content you need into the exact languages demanding them.

4. Brand involvement

One of the side-effects of crowdsourcing is an increased level of brand involvement and loyalty. The more time a community spends involved with an organization, the more they will tend to feel connected to and have an affinity towards their brand. Participants feel a sense of connection and ownership when they work as a community towards a common goal.

Using crowdsourcing in translation projects can produce these effects of increased brand loyalty and can have a particularly strong impact in solidifying global communities. Because translation projects by definition involve bi-linguals, utilizing the crowd for these projects can become part of an organizations strategy to expand globally or into communities speaking other languages. Instead of being seen as an outsider trying to encroach upon a new community, organizations will be able to penetrate new markets from the inside and engage community members in a non-threatening way.


See How It Works

The Massive Benefits of Cloud-Based Translation Management System

Language is social. It connects people and ideas. But what happens when it stops connecting, slows down, and goes offline? What happens when your global audience is left in the dark because your translations are stuck in someone’s inbox? 

With the Translation Network, Lingotek makes your content accessible to your customers globally. By connecting your company with our technology and translators, we connect your ideas with the world. Lingotek makes going global possible.

Cloud Based Translation is Faster, Easier & More Efficient 
Lingotek revolutionized the translation industry with its cloud-based networked translation technology. With Lingotek, you get an enterprise-grade, end-to-end solution that you control. Bring your translation workflow into the 21st century and get out from under the old-school, on-premise, traditional IT, and proxy architectures that slow you down and increase your costs with budget-busting implementation processes and ongoing maintenance.

Agile Software That Offers Scalability and Responsive IT
Our next-generation technology continuously delivers multilingual content and scalability to meet your increasing needs for more content, storage, and translation management. Lingotek’s cloud-based technology can extract large amounts of data and scale to any project size on the fly. With our agile software, Lingotek can be more responsive and can match your evolving requirements with fast IT. 

Seamless Integration With Your Applications
Seamless integration with your enterprise applications and our translation management system lets you upload source content for translation, have it automatically translated, and download the translated content back into your original application.

Automated Workflows Put Your Translations on Autopilot
Put your translations on autopilot with customizable workflows that let you trigger actions throughout the project lifecycle. From notifying a reviewer when a translation is ready for review, to reporting project status to an external system, the Lingotek rules engine brings AI-like capabilities to your workflow.    

Continuous, Real-Time Collaboration for Round-the-Clock Translation
With a vast network of translators working in our powerful cloud-based translation management system, you get continuous, round the clock translation and real-time collaboration.

Centralized File Management Gives You Control Over Your Content
Out-of-the-box integrations with popular CMS, CRM, marketing automation, knowledge bases, and social business software means your information resides in your system, giving you visibility, access, security, and control of your files and information.

Scalable File Storage to Match Your Growth
Our cloud-based Translation Network offers scalability that auto-scales to increased volume levels, without no additional charge for more file storage. It  can scale as your usage grows. 
Secure Your Information With Controlled Access to Files
Content stored in the Lingotek cloud is fully secured and kept private to your organization. Role-based authorization ensures that users only see information if they have been granted access by your project administrator.





Translation Solution Needs

Lingotek offers a wide range of translation solutions to its customers. Whether you are in the enterprise or federal space, or want our world-class translation services team to take care of your localization for you, Lingotek offers corporate and global translation solutions that are custom tailored for your needs.













About Lingotek

Our Company

Lingotek | The Translation Network is a cloud-based translation services provider, offering translation management software and professional linguistic services. We are the leader in collaborative translation technology with an innovative cloud translation management system (TMS) that uses computer-assisted translation (CAT) tools to facilitate faster, more efficient, language translation. Lingotek was the first to introduce cloud-based TMS technology to the United States in 2006 with the launch of a fully online, web-based, computer-assisted translation (CAT) system that pioneered the integration of translation memories (TM) with main-frame powered machine translation (MT). Our multilingual application program interfaces (API) and connectors pair with the industry’s top enterprise applications to automate and integrate the translation process. They include:

  • Content Management Systems (CMS) 
  • Customer Relationship Management Systems (CRM)
  • Marketing Automation
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Customers can use their own language services providers (LSP) and linguists, or our global network of 5,000+ professional linguists. Lingotek is based in Lehi, Utah in the area known as Silicon Slopes. 

Our History

Lingotek was founded in 2006 and is funded by Signal Peak Ventures and In-Q-Tel

Signal Peak Ventures is a Salt Lake-based venture capital firm that focuses on early-stage technology investments in the Intermountain region. The firm was established as Signal Peak in 2011 after the spin out of Canopy Ventures venture capital team and the acquisition of portfolio investments in ten other companies. The Signal Peak team has extensive experience in sourcing, executing, managing, and divesting venture capital stakes across the Intermountain region. 

In-Q-Tel is a strategic, not-for-profit investment firm that works to identify, adapt, and deliver innovative technology solutions to support the mission of the U.S. Intelligence Community. Launched by the CIA in 1999 as a private, independent organization, In-Q-Tel's mission is to identify and partner with companies developing cutting-edge technologies that serve the national security interests of the United States. Working from an evolving strategic blueprint defining the Intelligence Community's critical technology needs, In-Q-Tel engages with entrepreneurs, growth companies, researchers, and investors to deliver technologies that provide superior capabilities for the CIA and the larger Intelligence Community. 

Our Clients & Partners

Lingotek  works with some of the largest, most innovative companies in the world, in a wide variety of industries and services including government, technology, finance, telecom, travel, and education. Our clients include departments in the U.S. Government and several large Fortune 500 companies. Here are some of the Customers that are trusting their translation processes with the Lingotek Translation Network.

We also work with a growing network of Partners--service providers, digital agencies, open sources technologies, and other strategically selected companies--to meet the unique translation requirements of our customers. 

Industry Recognition & Awards

Comparably Best Company Leadership 2018
Comparably Best Company Managers 2018
Top 100 Companies in the Digital Content Industry - EContent 2017-2018
Comparably Best Company Leadership 2017
Comparably Best Company Culture 2017
Comparably Best Places to Work 2017
Comparable Best CEO - Rob Vandenberg 2017
Utah Business Book of Lists Top Telecom & Technology Software Developers 201
Utah Best in State Language Services 201
Silicon Review List of Inspiring 100 Companies 201
Top 100 Companies in the Digital Content Industry - EContent 201
Top 30 Drupal Contributor 201
Top Translation Services Company 2016 - PFin
Hot in Lehi Award Top Trending Companies - Owle
Top 100 Companies in the Digital Content Industry - EContent 201
Edison Award Finalist 201
CIO Microsoft 100 Solution Providers CIO Review 201
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Gartner Cool Vendor of the Year 201
Oracle Gold Partner 201
Stevie Award Best New Product or Service of the Year SaaS Category 201
Most Innovative New Product Utah Valley Entrepreneur Forum 2006

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