The Pros and Cons of Crowdsourcing Your Translations

In 2006, Jeff Howe came up with the term crowdsourcing – “the act of taking a job traditionally performed by a designated agent (usually an employee) and outsourcing it to an undefined, generally large group of people in the form of an open call.”

Although crowdsourcing has become a very popular word since then, the concept has actually been exercised for hundreds of years. For instance, in the 1800s, the Oxford English Dictionary was born thanks to thousands of contributors sending in definitions of words on slips of paper.

Today, Wikipedia makes use of wisdom of the crowds to provide us with mass amounts of information at our fingertips. Since 2008, Facebook has relied on its users to translate its website into multiple languages in a short period of time.

Using the wisdom of the crowd for translation can bring many perks to your business, but like most things, it doesn’t come without its drawbacks. Here are some to consider:


  • Strength in numbers: Crowdsourcing allows you to tap into a large pool of people and their knowledge. This can come in very handy when you are translating your content into an uncommon language, localizing your

    website, or detailed knowledge of your subject matter and field is required.

  • No cost: Allowing the crowd to help improve and correct errors on your translations is free.
  • Speed: Many people contributing to your translations can cover a lot more ground in less time than a single person or a small team.
  • Brand awareness: Engaging the crowd can help increase your brand awareness and loyalty.


  • Managing

    the process:

    If you have a large crowd of contributors, managing their input can be time consuming and complicated. We can help here! With dakwak’s crowdsourced platform, you can effortlessly manage, approve and publish your crowd’s suggestions.
  • Questionable quality: Without a good crowdsourcing process in place, translation errors and inconsistencies can arise. A large pool of people is

    going to generate input of differing quality, some great and some not so. Another potential problem that could lead to discrepancies is regional variations of a language.

  • Unreliable: Because the crowd is essentially giving you feedback for free, the

    information might not be very reliable or accurate.