Google announced the launch of the Translate Community with the aim to improve Google Translate through crowdsourcing better translations for the 80 currently supported languages and to eventually launch new language options with the help of its users.
In the community members can vote on existing translations and generate new ones. Google also added a new feature to Google Translate that enables anyone to contribute directly even without signing up to the Translate Community.
Over time Google wants to add features that show members the impact of their work and activity across the global community.
Using crowdsourcing to translate educational web content has become an established option. Among the first to experiment with this was language learning community Livemocha which turned to its user base to translate the free courses offered on the site into different languages, though with mixed results.
Duolingo, the current juggernaut of the language learning space, based its business model on its users translating the web while learning a new language. Given the close relationship between Duolingo founder Luis von Ahn and Google, he sold his previous company reCAPTCHA to the search giant in 2009 and just launched Duolingo Test Center exclusively on Android and Google Chrome, one might speculate that Google took some notes or even advice from him in this project. And I am still pretty sure that Duolingo will end up being acquired by Google.
Another leading example for the power of crowdsourcing in the translation space is Viki, an online community that is built around translating and subtitling movies and TV series. The site has been acquired by Rakuten for $200 million in September of last year and there have been rumors that Google was also interested in acquiring the crowdsourcing site.
Google also introduced crowdsourcing for one of its other main properties, YouTube. In May YouTube launched an effort to reach out to its creator talent by announcing a couple of new features requested by the community. Among these is the Community Caption Project which lets YouTube content creators tab into the global community to subtitle the videos. Sounds like Viki I hear you say? Well, if you can’t acquire it, clone it.
- Translate Community: Help us improve Google Translate! | Inside Search
- Sunday Review: $200m Viki acquisition, Textbook Scam and Socratic Labs | EDUKWEST
- Crowdsourcing in Education – How to make it work | EDUKWEST
- HEDLINE: Duolingo Test Center brings Learners a $20 Version of the TOEFL | EDUKWEST