[Crowd Leader] Rob Vandenberg: 5 Ways Crowdsourcing Changes Translation

You are here

[Crowd Leader] Rob Vandenberg: 5 Ways Crowdsourcing Changes Translation

Reposted with permission from an article published February 18th, 2011 on The Daily Crowdsource as a Crowd Leader article.

The ability to leverage the crowd for your translation projects can not only increase the speed and lower costs, but it can fundamentally shift how your organization approaches and relates to translation in general. Many organizations are starting to have an “ah-ha” moment as they realize that translating their content with new crowd-enabled technologies is now within their reach. Localization initiatives no longer have to consume prohibitive cost or time resources. Let’s look at five ways the crowd is revolutionizing how organizations approach translation projects.

1. The crowd affects what you translate
As I alluded to in my previous post, with new technologies the crowd can participate helping to decide what to translate. In a sense, you give control to your audience, or potential audience, to decide what content they want to consume and in what languages. This creates a sort of “invisible hand” that guides and directs your localization efforts and can lead to some pleasing results.

How does your audience decide? One way is to embed Machine Translation functionality on your site which allows users to see an instant computer-generated translation. You can then track which pages are translated into which languages to see how your content is being consumed. An even better approach is to use technology that allows users to either volunteer to translate the content themselves or to nominate a page for professional translation. This gives you even more direct feedback as to the demand for your content in various languages.

In the old translation model you would have to decide between one language or another and spend significant time and money translating all your content into that language. With crowd-based technologies, these either/or decisions are eliminated. Instead, you may find that your audience wants to consume your content in an entirely different language than you anticipated. Instead of translating your entire site, maybe you have one page of content that is of particular interest to German-speakers while the rest of your content isn’t. As a result, only that page is translated. This type of “micro” translation allows for any piece of content to be translated into any language in a very efficient, almost effortless, manner. You may find an unexpected demand for your content in languages you never anticipated and become exposed to new markets you never thought possible.

2. The crowd affects how you translate
Crowd-based translation technologies change how you translate your content. Machine Translation technology has been around for years and has steadily improved. Google’s translation tool allows any reader to quickly translate your content into any language to get a gist of the content. If they deem your content to be important, they can either volunteer to instantly translate the content themselves or to nominate the content for a professional translation. By allowing your community to volunteer to translate you not only increase your community involvement and affinity, but also may avoid the cost of professional translation in general. With new cloud-based translation technologies a reader can do an aided translation instantly without leaving your site or using any other tools or software.

3. The crowd affects the quality of your translations
Most people assume that professional translations are superior to crowd-based translations. However, studies have shown that’s not necessarily true. Non-professional volunteer translators often have a more in-depth understanding of the subject matter than professionals. They might better understand the subtleties and colloquialisms of the topic. As a result, community translations can be superior to their professional counterparts.

Additional technologies help aid volunteer translators so that certain words and phrases are translated consistently and with a high level of quality. If you are particularly concerned with quality control of crowd-based translations, tracking technologies allow you to monitor translations in real time or hire a professional to monitor quality. As a result you can end up with a professional-quality translation (or better) at a fraction of the price.

4. The crowd affects the speed of translations
In the traditional translation model collaboration was extremely difficult. Multiple versions of documents being emailed back and forth created confusion and often resulted in errors. With crowd-based translation technologies, large groups of people can translate a single piece of content effortlessly. This can be done by the translation tool segmenting the content out into sentence-long chunks and assigning them to the translators. Each sentence is locked while being worked on and then afterwords can be reviewed by other volunteers to ensure quality and accuracy. By segmenting content in this manner, translation times drop dramatically. You also no longer have the time and danger involved in trying to maintain and keep track of multiple versions of a document.

5. The crowd affects the cost of translations
By using either volunteer or non-professional bi-linguals in your translations you can translate content for low to no cost. One study shows that the cost of a paid crowd-based translation project was under $0.03 per word versus the industry average of $0.23 per word. This dramatic cost savings means that localizing content is now a realistic option for even the smallest site owners. Combined with technology that allows content to be translated without leaving the website on which it resides, we are truly on the brink of a revolution that will democratize the translation process and make the ability to translate easily accessible to all.

In summary, by leveraging the crowd, almost every aspect of the translation process is significantly improved. By shifting from a paradigm of the single professional translator to that of the crowd, not only can translations be completed much more quickly and at a dramatically lower cost, but the crowd can actually help make your projects more efficient by deciding what needs to be translated into which languages with minimal oversight. The crowd will truly create a translation revolution.


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
  • eCommerce Platforms
  • Knowledge Bases 
  • Product and Support Documentation 
  • Social Business Software
  • Desktop Files
  • Software Localization

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
Edison Award Nominee 201
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

banner block

Want to Learn More?

Contact Me

It only takes 5 simple questions to determine if Lingotek is the right solution for your company.
Are you a translator? Click Here

banner block

Our Featured Customers

What makes Lingotek unique is our track record of building, powering and managing the most successful and vibrant brands in the world.


Lingotek Stats

Experience the Benefits of Networked Translation


Cost Savings
Software Only


Cost Savings
Software and Services


Translation Time Saved


Customizable Workflows Satisfaction


Latest Tweets