Social Translation and the Wisdom of Crowds

Could social translation represent a serious threat to Language Service Providers (LSPs) and other localization groups? I think it could, and will, and other globalization analysts have earmarked social translation as an industry development to watch. 

Of course, the immediate criticism that will be leveled at social translation will be one of quality. However, if publishers make their terminology glossaries freely available, then the quality issue could be addressed. Even if they didn’t, anyone who has read The Wisdom of Crowds by James Surowiecki will realize that bad translations would be driven out by good ones as “the crowd” establishes its own common user dialogue…

Wisdom of Crowds image referenced from All rights acknowledged.

Well worth a read…

And for those more, er, “obscure” languages, why the Long Tail will take care of those…wink

The Long Tail image referenced from All rights acknowledged.

It’s going to be interesting times ahead ….

Ultan Ó Broin
Ultan Ó Broin (@localization), is an independent UX consultant. With three decades of UX and L10n experience and outreach, he specializes in helping people ensure their global digital transformation makes sense culturally and also reflects how users behave locally. Any views expressed are his own. Especially the ones you agree with.


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