Translation & Localization Blog

Tag: Translation

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

3 Ways to Save Localization Cost for Your Apps

Save Money

How to save on localization cost

Imagine that you are a taking a cab to sightsee in a foreign place. You tell the cab driver where you want to go. When the bill meter keeps beeping, your mind keeps worrying. Finally you get there, pay the bill, and just realize that you want to go a little bit further. But then the driver tells you, “sorry you gotta pay again”. What words come into your mind? Stupid, or…?

Some developers may share such experience when they attempt to get their apps localized. They feel like paying too much when they submit their string files, as they are not familiar with the target language and the process itself. Particularly when developers have to modify their product, localization becomes a recurring task to them. A penny saved is a penny earned. Here we share some tips to save your translation cost, especially for start-ups at their earlier stages of business.


During product design and product development

#1 Use placeholder

Placeholder refers to an expression or a symbol where substitution may take place by some literal string. For example, a website might want to display “Welcome back, John” to the user whose name is John whenever he revisits the website. In the code file, you’ll see something like “Hi %s”. The symbol “%s” then serves as the function of placeholder. Since placeholder is simply a dummy variable, it would not be translated throughout the process of localization.


With good use of placeholder, you can save the cost rapidly.Here’s an example. If you would like to translate the following text

“You just jogged for 30 minutes. Keep it up!”;

“You just jogged for 25 minutes. Keep it up!”;

“You just jogged for 25 minutes. Keep it up!.”;


If you use a placeholder to merge the three sentences into the following string, you can save up to 66% of the translation cost.

“You just jogged for %d minutes. Keep it up!”;


Before string submission

#2 Eliminate duplicated strings

Before submitting the resource files to your translation solutions, you may have to check your string deliberately to avoid strings being duplicated. Translation agents are like cab drivers – they only count the quantity of words for pricing. If you submit the same string twice, that means you have to pay double. So the advice to lower your cost is to check your strings again before clicking the “send” bottom.

Nevertheless, be cautious when you are checking the duplicated strings because the same text may contain different meanings. For example, the word “italian” may refer to a language, a form of culture or a nationality. Therefore, you also need to take a look at the usage of the duplicated strings upon checking.


For future updates

#3 Use translation memory

For future updates or revision, you may look for translation service provided with a feature called “translation memory” to reduce the translation cost. Translation memory is a solution that auto-detects the new content of the updates. Repeated phrases can be kept and remain consistent across all translated content. By doing so, you can save the translation cost and reduce manpower to check duplicated keys.

(Reference: Wikipedia) (Photo: source)

3 Tips to Localize Your Mobile Apps


It is no doubt that mobile apps localization can reach out markets in different languages and thus boost downloads. With the help of professional translation and localization solutions, app developers do not have to learn any foreign languages to localize their mobile apps (just to know the whole localization process and a few technical reminders and more).

However, to localize a mobile app does not simply mean to turn words into other languages. Developers also have to make sure the user experience is up to the standard when their apps are in different languages. Here we offer some localization tips on mobile apps usability.

Add Independent “Language Setting”

Some users would like to use apps in non-native languages. The reasons are various. For people working at a multilingual region (like Switzerland, Canada and Hong Kong) or overseas, they may prefer to use apps in different languages for work purposes. Language learners also love to do so for study. So it would add much value to user-friendliness of your apps if there is a language setting option.

Beware of Your App Layout Design

The purpose of layout design is to organize the content of you app in a neat and stylish way. Nevertheless, if you are going to translate a mobile app into another language with different character type or style of spelling, your layout design may be broken and lost some aesthetic value. We have previously talked about which language you should pay attention to and why, so here’re some solutions. (1) The best practice is, of course, to create a multilingual layout design at the very beginning. (2) If it is not an option, you may need to condense your content by lowering the length of your strings. It can avoid translated content from destroying your layout structure. (3) If you still can’t avoid this, you may have to consider creating an alternative layout design for a different language display.

Check Language Consistency of Your App

Lastly, you should also check the language consistency of the translations. Smooth and effective communication relies highly on consistency. If an app is translated badly, inconsistent wordings may create opaque reading and even miscommunication to your users. To improve the language consistency, you should keep a glossary for your apps and hire translators who have worked with your before. You may also want to consult your translation service provider for advice. Remember, bad translation is worse than none.

If you have other tips to improve the user experience in mobile app localization, feel free to let us know in the comment section!

(Photo: source)

Localization – a way to become a featured app on iTunes

You are a small team of developers and wondering how your app can beat those top developers’ apps and appear on iTunes App Store as a featured app? Carrot, a new productivity app that just got into the featured list, may have some insights for you.

Carrot, developed by Hong Kong startup Innopage, is an app where you can track and reward yourself for achieving your life’s to-do, goals and endeavors. Just like many of the developers out there, the next thing to do after shipping your app is to think of ways to attract more downloads and to climb up the different country top charts.


Downloads increased by 800% after localization


After reading researches showing that a lot of country top charts are dominated by apps that support the local language, Innopage decided that localization was the way to go to capture more international downloads. To begin with, they translated their app into 6 languages other than English, including French, German, Spanish, Japanese, Simplified Chinese and Traditional Chinese.

The result was very encouraging, just a few days after adding the above translation, downloads increased by 800% and the overall rankings in the above countries jumped significantly.


Became a featured app on iTunes after localization


Localization did not only help Carrot increase its downloads. Just a few days after adding the localized versions, Carrot became a featured app in iTunes App Store for 48 countries!

App featured on iTunes after localization

Keith Li, the CEO of Innopage, said “I will imagine that we, as a very small team based out of Hong Kong, wouldn’t be possible to get featured worldwide unless we do all those translations”.


Translating your app is easy with OneSky


Keith mentioned that the whole translation process was much easier than he expected. Using OneSky, all he needed to do was to upload his .strings files, choose the languages and our system would automatically parse the file to extract the human readable text and send them out for translation. With OneSky, you can forget about all the time-consuming file format conversions and you don’t have to worry whether the translators can handle those complicated code files.


auto-parsing of resource files


“Another reason why we like OneSky is that there are many built-in features that help ensure translation quality. For examples, I can create a list of glossary terms and attach screenshots to provide more guidelines to translators. There is also an automatic placeholder validation system to ensure our translation contains no missing / misspelled placeholders. And the platform makes it very easy for me to communicate with the translators to clarify issues,” said Keith.

The whole translation process took less than 2 days to finish and Innopage could simply download the completed translation in ready-to-use resource files format and plug them into their app directly.

 With this promising result, Innopage is now planning to translate their app into more languages. Love the app and would like it to be translated into your language as well? Send us an email at and we will forward your voice to them!

More about Innopage

Innopage ( is a multi-award winning, fast growing and leading Mobile Applications Developer specialized in iOS, Android, Windows Phone, Windows 8 and Smart TV applications development.

Innopage is a member of Hong Kong Cyberport Incubation Programme, and had received support from Hong Kong government’s Innovation and Technology Fund.


More about OneSky

OneSky ( is a cloud-based translation management platform with the mission to become the easiest way for companies to go global. We offer advanced technology to streamline the localization process for websites, mobile apps, softwares, social media & documents.

  • Professional translation service for 40+ languages

  • Manage your own translators & collaborate easily with our web-based translation editor

  • Crowdsourcing solutions to engage your users in the localization process

Translation made easy – our simple yet powerful promise to you. Contact us at for more info.

China is the Fastest Growing iOS & Android Market


According to a report released by Flurry, between October 2011 and October 2012, China experienced an impressive 293% growth in number of active devices in the country, making it the fastest growing iOS and Android market by active devices.

Flurry predicted that with this impressive growth, China will overtake the U.S. by the end of 2013 Q1 to become the top country with the greatest number of active iOs and Android devices.


China - The fastest growing iOS & Android market by active devices



According to the Oct 2012 figures, although the U.S. is still the top country with the greatest number of active iOS and Android devices with a total of 181 millions of active iOS and Android devices. China is just 14 millions behind and the gap will soon be closed with the impressive growth of active devices in China.

In fact, while there has been 55 millions net active devices added in the U.S. since October 2011, there has been 125 millions net active devices added in China for the same period.


Want to get a share of the thriving market in China?
Localization your app is the key to success!

As mentioned in our previous blog post, users in China demonstrate  a very strong preference for local language (Simplified Chinese). According to the statistics by released by Distimo, nearly 70% of all free downloads and closed to 80% of all revenues generated in China are from apps that offer local language support.


Therefore, localizing your apps into Simplified Chinese is a key to success if you want to get a share of the booming app market in China.

Translating your apps can be easy with OneSky, see how.