As much as we like to think that English is a fairly universal language on the Internet, that’s simply not the case. That’s why it may be important to you to consider crowdsourcing your website translation needs. There are many machine translation tools out there, but they simply don’t work as well as real human beings. And multiple human beings are even better.
Just as you can crowdsource your finances and your branding, you can also crowdsource your need for website translation services. This is also true when it comes to translating your smartphone apps, web apps, and all sorts of other content. Thankfully, there are many website translation crowdsourcing services out there that are ready to take on your project.
Offering “powerful translation management for websites and mobile apps,” Smartling actually provides you with three different translation options. The cheapest and fastest is machine translation, but it’s also the least accurate. Professional translation can be expensive, but far more accurate. Giving you the best middle ground is crowdsourced translation; it is relatively inexpensive and can be almost as accurate as the professional translation service. Pricing varies by content and traffic volume. As an added bonus, Smartling can host your new language sites for you, leaving you responsible only to host your root language version.
Working either through online submission or by way of the API, Gengo employs a team of pre-tested translators. When the translation is complete, you can review and comment on the translation, getting corrections for free. The finished project is then delivered to you via email or back through the API. Standard pricing starts at $0.05 per word and goes up to about $0.15/word for the “ultra” level, which includes professional-grade service with extra proofreading.
Whereas the previous two companies have their own teams of translators, Get Localization is a social translation workspace platform that you can use for website translation and application translation. Public workspaces are free, allowing you to manage your translation project better, but you do need to find your own people for the actual translation work itself. These can be professionals or simply members of your user community.
Translating everything from immigration documents to legal documents, FoxTranslate supports 34 different languages. These include Italian, Hindi, German, Chinese, Arabic, Russian, and more. While FoxTranslate has a certified translation service for official documents, like birth certificates, a website translation would fall under the business translation service. That costs 12 cents per word and is deliverable in Word format.
Acclaro Website Translation
Acclaro says that crowdsourced translations are best suited for “user or mass generated content… such as blogs, news portals, wiki sites and web applications.” The source content is shared by way of an open call to a pool of potential translators, who then follow an established workflow for revision and posting. Acclaro also goes beyond “just” translation to include full localization services too.
If you want to manage your own website translation project, then something like Transifex might be a good fit. It has been designed for “agile teams and smart translators,” adhering to the principles of agile project management. A wide variety of file formats are supported, including XHTML and Apple strings. Pricing starts at $19/month, not including the cost of your crowdsourced translators.
Ackuna Cloud Translator
Powered by Translation Cloud, Ackuna is perhaps one of the best examples of a true crowdsourced website translation service. Registered users each earn a “reputation,” which is used to gauge how trustworthy they are and how accurate their translations have been. When you submit a project, you can then mark incoming translations as correct. The completed translation is then made available for download through the “My Projects” page.
Instead of relying on a single translator to handle your website translation, Lingotek uses what it calls a “translation network.” This includes its collaborative translation platform, but also its translation marketplace, partner network and development community. While website localization is certainly part of it, LingoTek has a network of translation freelancers who can also do desktop publishing, subtitling, transcription and voice-over work, among other services.
It’s not enough to have a native speaker of a language do your translation. It also helps with the translator is actually local to the area. OneSky hand picks a number of local agencies around the world, but you only have to deal with the one point of contact. These agencies support over 50 languages and OneSky integrates with a range of platforms, including Android, Flash, Python, and PHP. Prices start at 10 cents a word.
Image credit: cienpies / Fotolia