I think the word “crowdsourcing” is creating confusion when combined with “translation”. Why? Because it seems the first thought the two words provoke is “free”.
The LISA report on Crowdsourcing had the following to say:
Companies are definitely not implementing crowdsourcing to reduce their costs……rather, they’re doing it principally for one or more of the following three reasons:
•To reach totally new markets
•To better serve lower margin markets that are currently under-served
•To increase the value of their global brand by further engaging their users
While crowdsourcing often involves participants offering their time at no cost, which I call altruistic crowdsourcing, I believe the true potential for crowdsourcing in the translation industry will be pay for performance in a community based, translation ecosystem.
Specifically, I believe a crowdsourcing tool such as CrowdSight, can be pointed to a community/crowd and act as the physical link between that crowd and the translation process, and this is what we have planned for CrowdSight.
For example, the translation quality process typically involves one linguist reviewing another linguist’s work. While this is a necessary step, it only captures linguistic opinion. What is missing is the opinion that matters the most – that from the person buying the product, the end user.
If we can incorporate end-user opinion into the translation QA cycle, I believe we can make more informed QA process and budget decisions by language and by market objective. And perhaps even better, we can use user opinion to end the frustration that often surfaces when the reviewer’s opinion differs from the translator’s opinion. As the saying goes: the client/buyer is always right.