This weekend, I finally began sending out the invitations for the survey I’ve been preparing on crowdsourced translation initiatives. It asks respondents about their backgrounds, whether they have any formal training in translation, why they have decided to participate (or not to participate) in crowdsourced translation projects, and whether their participation has impacted their lives (e.g. whether they received job offers or met new colleagues because of their participation).
I’ve begun with Wikipedia, but I plan to invite respondents who have participated in other crowdsourced translation initiatives, including TedTalks, Kiva and Global Voices Online. I’ve just finished randomly sampling the Wikipedians who have helped translate content into English, but I will now start randomly sampling those who have translated from English into French, Spanish and/or Portuguese. I’m hoping to determine whether participant profiles differ from one project to another: for instance, does the average age of participants vary from one project to another? Do some projects seem to attract more people who have some formal training in translation? Do motivations differ when participants are translating for non-profit initiatives vs. for-profit companies?
Responses have started to trickle in, and I’m already starting to see some trends, but I won’t say anything more until all of the surveys have been submitted and I’ve had a chance to analyze the results. If you’re interested in finding out more details about the survey, please let me know. And if you want to see some of the results, check back in a few months. I expect to have some details to discuss by late March or early April.