04 Nov Twitter gets lost in translation
As Spanish is my mother tongue, I always write in Spanish here, but today deserves the right to change the rule. Why? Twitter has launched its Spanish version. Ok, what’s wrong with that?
A while ago Twitter announced they were going to localise their site into different languages using «crowdsourcing«. For those who are not familiar with the concept, crowdsourcing is, according to Wikipedia «the act of taking tasks traditionally performed by an employee or contractor, and outsourcing it to a group (crowd) of people or community in the form of an open call.»
As it happened with Facebook and Linkedin, translators around the world discussed about this issue. Many of us have worked for NGOs for free, but what is the point of working for a company making profit of translators’ work? If they pay their lawyers, accountants, etc., why they are not going to pay for translations? The UI of Twitter is not flooded with text, so the point of using the crowdsourcing model for saving money does not make much sense. So, why then? Twitter may say that users/fans of a product create a better translation. That could be true in some cases, but definitely that is not the case.
I have sent a «tweet» to the Spanish Twitter account asking them how they have selected their translators as apparently not everyone can translate for free for them, but I have not received any answer yet.