What is Community Translation?

Have you thought about using community translation? Read on and find out more, before you decide to do so. Language Direct can help you get any type of translation service in London today.


community translation

What is community translation?

An online translation community is an alternative to machine translation. Here, volunteers help with the translation jobs. The projects are usually subtitles for movies or TV shows, and books. Users can either translate a portion of, or an entire projects. Those who are not fluent with the source language can choose to do editing or proof reading instead.

It may sound very similar to crowd sourcing. However, most of these communities rely on volunteers to do the translation and proofreading. The number of users vary: some sites have a few hundred thousand, while smaller sites may have a few dozens to tens of thousand. The bigger sites usually have moderators and promote several ways and levels of participation. Smaller groups usually operate on social networking or blog hosting sites.

Translation communities usually emerge if translation for a certain language is scarce. For example, China has a quota to the number of foreign films allowed in their country every year. Foreign TV shows and books are also restricted. This has resulted in community translation in various sites. Essentially, the shows or movies are downloaded after they are aired and Chinese subtitles are added.


Advantages and Disadvantages of Community Translation

Here are a couple of the advantages:

  • The turnaround time can be extremely fast, especially for big sites that has many translators who can divide the work amongst themselves.
  • There is access to languages which one may rarely find in translation software or online translation sites.
  • This practice provides a feeling of “oneness” as the users and translators are mostly volunteers and are able to touch base with people from their home country.

However, it also has its disadvantages:

  • The accuracy of translation may not be 100% correct all the time. Because the users are not professional translators, nor are the moderators linguists by profession, there are lapses in grammar and chances of transliteration.
  • Because projects are usually divided amongst users, it is difficult to maintain a writing style and the use of a single terminology.

Get a professional translator from Language Direct, instead of turning to community translation, for your official translation needs.

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