Translation & Localization Blog

Tag: Crowdsourced translation

New to crowdsourced translation? Check below to know more information you need to kickstart your localization project.

How TrekkSoft Localized into over Eight Languages and Acquire Customers in 70 Countries

TrekkSoft company logo

This is part of our series “Bring it to the world” which profiles websites and apps that offer localized versions to reach happy users from many parts of the world.

We’re following OneSky famous users to discover their experience and philosophy of localization that makes their products so awesome to global users. This week we interviewed Valentin Binnendijk, CTO & Co-founder at TrekkSoft Ltd.

Q&A with Valentin Binnendijk, CTO & Co-founder at TrekkSoft Ltd.

1. How did you get the idea of localizing your product?

We were founded in Switzerland, and we still have offices there, in the town of Interlaken. Because Switzerland is a small European country with four official languages, we’re used to working with clients who have diverse language needs. So localizing our product was never really a question. It was a necessity.

2. Did you try any other solutions before using OneSky? What were the results?

We tried two other solutions briefly, but we didn’t go through the hassle of integrating either product through the API. We’re a startup, and one of the localization providers we considered was way too expensive for our needs. The other was just far too complicated. The user experience didn’t seem good.

3. What were the biggest challenges you encountered while localizing your product?

When you have a big, constantly-evolving app in multiple languages, it can be difficult to keep track of all the different translated versions, and to keep track of who has to translate what.

Also, we have multiple strings with only tiny variations between them. So, one challenge has been figuring out ways to merge these strings, or to change the sentences, thereby decreasing the amount of translations required.

Finally, because we have a large app, we have many different parts to our software, not all of which need to be translated into every one of our languages. It’s a challenge to keep those parts separate, and to avoid unnecessary translating. We’ve tried to use different *.po files to keep track, but that hasn’t worked especially well, so we often end up translating content that we don’t really need.

4. How did OneSky help to make your localization process more efficient?

Although there have been some caching issues, through OneSky’s API integration and syncing process we can translate and update our software on a constant basis, allowing us to keep up with the needs of our ever-evolving product.

5. Why did you choose to crowdsource your translation?

First of all, we’re a bootstrapped startup, so we don’t have a large documentation team or a huge translation budget. But we do have an engaged customer base. Crowdsourced translations let us draw on those passionate customers in order to get high quality, affordable translations. Also, crowdsourcing our translation means that the process isn’t dependent on the development team, but can involve other TrekkSoft Ltd. staff.

6. What are the top three things you love about OneSky? Why?

First, the user interface is simple, so we—and our translators—don’t have to wade through a cluttered or confusing system. Second, OneSky’s support services respond very, very quickly. And, more generally, it just works well. As a young company, we can’t waste time on clunky interfaces or unreliable platforms. We need to be able to get cheap, fast, high-quality translations. By keeping our content organized and by providing an accessible platform for our translators, OneSky makes that possible.

7. How has localization helped your product so far? Any statistics you can share?

Today, we have customers in more than 70 countries, and we are offering services in more than eight languages. We are constantly adding new languages and improving our product. OneSky helped us set up a system to make this internationalization easy, and they’ve allowed us to lay the groundwork to scale up our localization efforts.

8. Any advice for someone considering localization?

Do it as early as possible. And be sure to integrate a crowdsourcing system, even if you only have two languages. That way, your product will be set to scale up and go global, and you’ll starting thinking about entering international markets much earlier.

headshot of Valentin Binnendijk

About Valentin Binnendijk

Valentin is CTO & Co-founder at TrekkSoft Ltd.. Follow him on Twitter and connect with him on LinkedIn.

About TrekkSoft Ltd.

TrekkSoft Ltd. was founded in 2010 to provide exemplary online booking services for the tours and activities industry. Its service is available in more than eight different languages with clients from more than 70 countries.

The Secret to Speedy Crowdsourced Translation

The Early Bird Gets the Worm

When it comes to crowdsourced translation, the sheer scale of the job can cause problems. The average app or website has so much content, and sometimes the community just can’t translate all of your materials very quickly.

Meanwhile, by the time you’ve translated every part of your product, your competitors may have already moved into that new market and established a foothold that’s hard to challenge. Fortunately, with a few tricks, you can learn to prioritize your content as effectively as possible, allowing for fast, accurate crowdsourced translations. You’ll be around the world in no time!


The Trick: Content Prioritization

You want a crowdsourced translation. You need it fast. Here’s the one phrase you need to know: content prioritization.

Simply put, you don’t need to wait until the completion of a translation project to launch your product in new language versions. It’s much quicker to identify the most important content, get it translated, and then deploy it immediately. The earlier you launch new language versions, the earlier you can test the potential of a new market or a non-English speaking community (for more on testing apps in new markets, see this post). An earlier launch helps you plan a more sophisticated marketing campaign. Plus, first comers in a market tend to enjoy more media exposure and other PR opportunities.


How to Prioritize Content Quickly and Accurately

You can prioritize your content manually—just look at the web portal and mark the content that you think is most important to translate. But is that content really important? Or is it just you who thinks it’s important? A data-driven approach is more reliable. That way, content is prioritized according to the users’ needs, not your gut feelings.

You can get useful data by harnessing user feedback, or through automation. Both methods offer simple and quick solutions.


Solution #1: Feedback and Voters

Always begin a crowdsourcing campaign with your community. Remember that the magic behind crowdsourcing is that the accumulation of small tasks can generate outstanding results. By letting your users choose the content that’s most important to them, you make their experiences central to your consideration.

Voting is a powerful tool for crowdsourcing decision-making. Set up a voting page for members of the community to decide which parts of the work require the most attention. If you prefer to have fewer people involved in content prioritization, you can consider asking for help from your community manager and some of your superusers.

Keep in mind that voting is a form of user contribution. Be sure to recognize this contribution.


Solution #2: Automation

Another solution to content prioritization is to let the data speak for themselves. You can use analytics tools—think Google Analytics—to automatically record traffic data, such as page views. The volume of page views indicates the importance of the content, and thus its priority for translation.

You can also use other web analytics metrics like Page Authority (PA), developed by Moz. PA shows how a given webpage is likely to rank in’s search results. It is calculated based on data from dozens of factors tracked by Moz, such as the number of backlinks. It can also indicate how important a given part of your content is in terms of organic search reach.

You can also implement traffic trackers for all strings of content that will need to be translated. The tracker is able to record the number of views by user, and it is useful to order the priority of the content at the string level.


Organizing Prioritized Content

After prioritizing content for translation, you need to show the content to your translators in an organized way.


Divide the Content into Chunks

The first step is to split the work into small pieces. The actual size of the chunks depends on the nature of your translating community. If your community consists of a few highly committed members, you can chop the content into chunks that can be finished within a couple days. If your community has a lot of users, you can divide the content into bits that are only one or two sentences long.


Display the Content Priority to Translators

You should then sort the content for your volunteer translators according to priority of translation. You can even display a priority bar for each bit of content. Still, the content priority should only suggest which content you want translated first. Make sure to let your crowdsourced translation team vote with their feet by working on the content that seems most important to them.


Case Study: Airbnb

Airbnb has used content prioritization to get a quick crowdsourced translation. Through prioritization, Airbnb managed to launch a website in a new language in under a week.

As a global travel rental company, Airbnb wanted to launch a natively translated Japanese website. And, because they have a passionate community of Airbnb hosts, they chose to use crowdsourcing.

However, Airbnb’s websites, email templates, and mobile apps contain 400,000 words of English content. That kind of translation can’t be done in just a couple days. As a result, content prioritization becomes essential for a speedy localization.

Airbnb set up a translation infrastructure that counted the frequency with which users saw a particular phrase. They employed a  t() method on their Rails server. For instance,

The instrument t() let translators know how to prioritize phrases for translation. If the phrase was seen by a user but had no translation yet, it was automatically recorded on a collection of all strings for translation. The phrase view was stored cumulatively in the server at a site-wide scale. This enabled Airbnb to prioritize the phrases based on their importance in terms of visibility.

Taken together, Airbnb showed their Japanese translators a view of all pages/emails on their site, and ordered the pages in terms of translation completeness in Japanese and importance overall.image of text data for translation

(Airbnb’s translation platform)

Airbnb’s features have been developed over the past five years, but their localization team only wanted to get the newer, more important parts translated. Therefore, the ‘importance’ column represented the number of page views in the past 4 days only. That way, Airbnb just needed to instruct their translators to start at the top of the list of pages/emails and work all the way down.

After adopting these strategies, Airbnb was able to launch, their Japanese website, in only one week.


Last Takeaway: Study What Local Users Might Really Want

One last piece of advice: know the need of potential users in new markets. The preferences and concerns of users differ from places. For instance, Western users might pay more attention to privacy-related content than Asian users do. Because of these differences, studying your potential user base is an important part of content prioritization. It can help to segment your users by geographical location, and then researching any distinctive patterns.


Your Turn!

Have you ever tried one of these crowdsourced translation strategies? We love to hear what you have to say about your experiences with speedy solutions in crowdsourced translation! Just leave us a comment below.

Stay tuned for upcoming blog posts about the best strategies, tips, and practices for crowdsourced translation. We want to help you make your translation project a success!

Feature photo: Flickr

Reference: Airbnb Engineering Blogs, Wiki4us


How to Engage User in Crowdsourced Translation


Although it is cool to crowdsource your translation in order to give your product a local flavor, you can do more with your newfound talent than just translate. There are about a zillion ways to boost user engagement in crowdsourced translation.

In this article, we’ll give you six specific ways to engage your users in your crowdsourced translation project. We’ll also break down the process of crowdsourced translation into three easy-to-understand stages.

Pre-translation stage

At the pre-translation stage, the emphasis is on localization and project planning. You have to identify which languages are needed for translation and invest adequate funding and economic resources.

1. Request Your Users to Choose What Language(s) to Translate into

One way to engage your users at this stage is to let them decide what languages to translate your project into. User-generated input is some of the most valuable you will ever get. Your fans and followers have opinions: from the language availability of your product to a desire for localization. In order to hear their voices, you may set up a voting system at your website. This allows you to easily find out what languages your users are speaking and what languages they want to see your product using. Once you’ve received a certain number of votes for a particular language, you know it is time to kickstart a language translation branch.

2. Let Your Users Fund Your Translation Project

In business, money is always the bottom line. If your users are begging for your product in a new language, they need to understand that the translation process is going to cost both time and money. When they do, they’ll be happy to cough up a little something to help the cause along.

One of the easiest ways to increase user engagement in crowdsourced translation at the donation level is by starting a crowdfunding campaign through a company like Kickstarter. These online fundraising websites have been very successful at helping start-up companies get the money they need to complete their translation project. Recently, a French-only franchise game called Mysterious Cities of Gold: Secret Paths launched its crowdfunding project for full localization in English and subtitles in Spanish. They had astonishing results! They more than met their $30,000 goal and raised an additional $15,000 to help complete their translation.


(Mysterious Cities of Gold: Secret Paths: Its crowdfunding page)

 Translation stage

Remember all the money that you just raised with the help of your fans? Now is the time to spend it. The translation stage is where you take your plans, your funds and your users and mix them together until your translation is complete.

 3. Hire (Some of) Your Users to Be Community Manager

In case no one has told you yet, here’s a little hint: A crowdsourced translation project is about as easy as tying your shoes with a crowbar. In order to save yourself the hassle of dealing with every detail and quirk of the translation process, you really need to choose a community manager.

A community manager can help by smoothing out the process of user contribution. While this person has no actual authority over other members, the community manager can rely on his or her recognition in the community to resolve problems. The duties of a community manager consist of approving user registration, implementing community policy as well as settling  dispute.

You can recruit a community manager in a few different ways. Many people promote an already  recognized translator. Not only does this person’s expertise give him an advantage as a community leader, but enormous contributions to the project can turn into the basis of moral authority. Others choose to directly invite users who are already very active in the community and have created personal relationships with other members.

4. Ask Your Users to Translate the Content

Your translation project isn’t going to go very far if you don’t have some translators on board. That’s why you need a good number of your users to have some translating skills. Still, you don’t want just anyone getting their grubby fingers all over your project. Make sure you’ve done your research on the people you add to your translation team. You should also find out the basic demographics of the people who are helping you. How many multilingual users do you have? What languages do they speak? Answering these questions will give you a good idea of how to best manage your user engagement in the crowdsourced translation schedule.

5. Let Your User to Vote for the Best Translation

For even the most devoted fans, it can be difficult to contribute time or money to a large translation project. But, as voters they can contribute to the project with a few simple clicks. By allowing users to vote, you get them engaged without taxing their personal and financial resources. Set up a page displaying all translated strings and ask your volunteers to vote for the most appropriate translation. You may be surprised by the accuracy of your results!

(The voting section of Facebook translation app)

Post-translation stage

Just because the translation is done, doesn’t mean the work is finished. Good user engagement in crowdsourced translation projects means keeping a schedule of continual quality assurance. This “debugging” is necessary to make sure your translated content is up-to-date and accurate. At this stage you should evaluate the translated content continuously and respond to feedback and fix any mistakes.

6. Let Your Users Be Your Reviewers

Your fans and followers are the perfect group of people to review your final translation. With a simple plug-in on your landing page, you can increase user engagement in the crowdsourced translation product by allowing them to make comments as they read or listen. You may even want to install inline review. With inline review, the system can detect the corresponding string of bad translation and send back to re-translation automatically. This dramatically reduces the turnaround time for the review process, and gives you a better product more quickly. You can also allow your users to suggest alternative translation options that may make your translation project more self-maintained.

Support various forms of engagement to leverage your social capital

Now you know how to let your user engage in your crowdsourced translation projects. As we have discussed, your users can engage at the different stages of the project in 6 key roles: initiator, funder, community manager, translator, voter and reviewer. Before you implement a crowdsourced translation project, consider how your users can help on each of these 6 ways.

One final tip about your upcoming community transition: support variable level of engagement. It allows your users to adjust their level of engagement easily. And, the more freedom you give your fans and followers, the more likely  they are to jump in and help.

Have you ever tried one of these crowdsourced translation strategies? We love to hear what you have to say about your experiences with user engagement in crowdsourced translation! Just leave us a comment below.

Stay tuned for upcoming blog posts about the best strategies, tips and practices for crowdsourced translation. We want to help you make your translation project a success!


Feature photo credit: adapted from opensourceway


15 Tips to Motivate Your Crowdsourcing Translators

For many crowdsourced translation projects, the most challenging problem they encounter is how to motivate their crowdsourcing translators. To move people’s heart is not easy, but there are some ways that work. In this blog post, we share 15 tips to increase your volunteer’s incentive to engage in your localization project.


Love Cannot be Forced

The mechanisms of crowdsourced translation are love and loyalty. People do not engage in your project for monetary rewards, but for their fondness. However, it is difficult to turn your users’ love into concrete and solid contribution.

Free Rider Problem

This is a classic Economics 101 issue. As with all public goods, people are tempted to await for the release of native language support without translating a single string.


To solve the problems, it is important to know the psychology of motivation. There are, in general, three push factors for people to engage in things without monetary rewards:

  •  Recognition
  •  Growth
  •  No hardship



Recognition is a basic human psychological need. People want recognition and positive feedback from others to acknowledge the contribution of their work. Otherwise, people may feel that their efforts are wasted or doubt its meaningfulness.


Knowing things are growing, whether it is their project or themselves, is good sign for people to continue their work. It shows that there is some prospect in their piece of work that is worth putting effort into.

No Hardship

People tend to avoid pain and hardship, especially when they are working as volunteers. Make sure the atmosphere is not filled with boredom and bitterness.


Here we offer fifteen ways to improve participants’ incentive based on the three push factors mentioned above.


#1 Show Genuine Need for Their Help

When you establish a localization campaign, you should set your goal clearly (what languages you want to translate, why, and by when). Arouse the compassion in your users’ hearts. Show your need for them.

#2 Set Up a Leaderboard/Hall of Fame

Create a publicly accessible page on your site where people can see how much your volunteers have contributed. Sort them accordingly. This can promote an atmosphere of playful competition (see #14), as well as recognize volunteers’ contributions.

(source: facebook)

#3 Thank Them Regularly

A leaderboard is only a static page. No one knows who is topping the charts without clicking on the link, so you also need to thank your volunteers regularly by sending e-mails or making announcements. Tell them that this project won’t be making progress without their contributions. You could also highlight the contributors of the month and show your gratitude.

#4 Announce the Progress Regularly

In addition to making e-mail announcements about progress, you can announce progress publically. Tell the public how your translation project has gone so far. Celebrate the achievement of any milestones of your campaign.

#5 Write Their Stories

Another way to recognize your contributors is to write stories about them. Interview them. Listen to their experiences with your product. Hear their motives and joys of translating your product. Your translators should be bilingual/multilingual users, and they may come from diverse backgrounds.

#6. Give Them Unique Branded Gifts

You may also offer your translators some branded products that are unique to the campaign. Lovers of your product would also love to receive a mug or t-shirt printed with your product’s logo.

#7 Adopt the Contribution Rapidly

It is a strong positive signal for users to see their contribution published. That’s the biggest recognition of their work. So apply contributions more rapidly. Sometimes you don’t even need to release the translation upon completion.


#8 Use a Progress Gauge

A progress gauge can be used to show the percentage of work that has been done to date, and how much is still needed to meet the goal. Update the progress gauge regularly to let your users know how things are going.

(photo: source)

#9 Quantify Their Contributions

Use point system to turn translators’ contributions into quantifiable indicators. They can view how much they have done each time they login. It is a growth parameter for them.

#10 Promote Dedicated Contributors

Make the job of volunteer translator like a career path. Grant some special access rights to those contributors who are very devoted to your project. For instance, give them the right to approve the final translation before it is released. You can even promote them to be the community managers who have the authority to approve new registrations, set policies and norms, and resolve disputes. People love to have increased impact on a community that they care about.

#11 Offer Official Certificates

Offering certificates may benefit the career development of some of your volunteers, such as translators and interpreters. Send them official certificates from your organization with the details of the nature and the quality of work they have contributed. Certificates should look highly professional. This solution can attract users from the translation profession.

No Hardship

#12 Ask Them to Vote

This tactic allows a variety of involvement in your crowdsourced translation project. Some of your users can be passionate readers, but they dislike translation work. To bring these users into play, have them vote for the best options of translations, as opposed to actually translating material themselves.

(photo: source)

#13 Make your translation UI more tempting

Some users may hesitate to help if they see a myriad of strings to translate, since they may prefer making a few translations only. You can still use these volunteers by making your translation UI contain fewer translation strings. The best format would be simply an original string and a box to place a user’s translation. Once they have started contributing at a pace that is comfortable for them, they may be more open to contributing more.

#14 Set Up a Competition

Competitions and games can add a little fun to your crowdsourced translation project. You can make use of suggestions #2 and #5, sending gifts to the best or most prolific contributors in the game.

#15 Double Your Rewards Near Completion

If you are looking for a last resort to boost the progress of your project when you are near your goal, you can double the points or rewards for translation of the remaining 10% or 20% of content. It can boost volunteer  engagement, especially when combined with competitions (see suggestion #14).

We would love to know if you have any comments or any tips to share with us. Please leave your comment below! 🙂


Feature Photo Credit: opensourceway

Feature Update: Collaborators can now download translations

In the past, only admins would have the rights to download their translations from their projects. But with our recent update, admins can also control whether their collaborators can have the permission to download the translations as well.

For example, if you are using OneSky to crowdsource the translation of an open source project, you might want to grant your collaborators the right to download translations for their own use. This would make the work flow between admins and collaborators to go on smoothly.

To see how this can be done, simple follow the simple steps as shown below.

To change this setting, go to your “platform settings“.


go to platform settings



Under “Privacy”,  you can change the access right for downloading translations.

  • If you set this to “private”, your collaborators would not have the right to download translations.
  • If you set this to “public”, your collaborators would have the right to download translations.


download translation access

Admins could easily change the settings whenever they want and is very easily done.

We’re constantly working hard to improve our cloud-based translation management platform. If you have any feature requests / suggestions, feel free to let us know by emailing us at It’s always our mission to make translation easy for you!