Social Localisation For the Rest of Us

Friedel Wolff, of Translate, presented at the 17th Annual LRC Conference in Limerick, Ireland on 20 September 2012.

A number of high profile cases have been mentioned of social networks localising at impressive speed. Facebook and Twitter as some of the most prominent social networking services certainly get a lot of attention. What can we learn from their experience?

The big, well-known names often have millions of users per language, which seems to put this out of reach for any small project. Facebook can afford to create their own localisation platform and integrate it tightly with a well known social application platform (their own). Smaller shops might only barely manage their own product development.

If I’m not a giant social network, am I able to replicate these successes?

By looking at some of the motivators and demotivators for contributors, we can increase our chances of finding contributors even if we are not Facebook/Twitter. Not all crowdsourcing platforms are equally fun to use.

Localisation clients have valid concerns about crowdsourcing. A good crowdsourcing platform should provide features expected from CAT tools to address these concerns, but in a way that social translators can understand. When combined with subtle social features, the best of both worlds might be possible.


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