Recently, I have been using Mechanical Turk to get translations done for our iPhone apps(Gaia GPS and Car Park!). The first time I did this for Gaia, I recruited some friendly Hackers from Hacker News, but I figured it would be rude to ask twice 🙂
At first, MTurk sucked because everyone would try and submit machine translations, but by being very specific in my ad, and requesting people email to get the text, I have gotten wonderful translations in all sorts of languages for $5. I then pay another $5 to have someone else edit the text. From what I gather from sites offering translations, this is about 10-20% of the cost of a professional, even after two people look it over.
Internationalizing the App Store text has been incredibly effective – we used to do over 90% of our business in the US, but now it’s more like 65%, and we are making beachheads in markets where we weren’t even ranked before.
Going through this, it occurred to me that it would be really great to have a site like 99designs.com or crowdspring.com where people could compete to translate things, and the crowd could judge the quality. And now that I know translators of a bunch of different languages that I trust, I figured I might be able to get this thing rolling.
So, who out there would use this site, and what would you use it for?
What could you imagine paying for translations, and what ideas do you have for features to keep quality high?
And what competing sites should I look at?