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What is the best service for translating an app into multiple languages?

We've recently launched (vokiapp.com), and because it's a messaging app, we want to translate the app into as many languages as possible, as cheaply as possible (of course). Does anyone have good experience with one or more services that do this? I'm thinking of Mechanical Turk, freelance.com, elance.com and the like, but I worry about quality control, especially when i can't check the work product. Any advice would be appreciated.

11 Replies

Travis Workman
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Travis Workman Entrepreneur • Advisor
Founder/President at Cognisoft
Rachel - You could use something like Google Translate or the Bing equivelant I have found them to be pretty good in translations and they do have an API. The one thing they do not do however is translate them with correct grammer meaning sentence construct may not be correct but at least you will be able to do som quality control checks. I hope this is helpful
Brian McConnell
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Brian McConnell Entrepreneur
Head of Localization at Medium.com
I am the head of localization for Insightly, so this is basically what I do for my job. You need to do three things: 1) you need to prepare your app for localization by moving all human readable prompts into prompt files (most mobile dev environments force you to do this, so you should have already done this). 2) select a translation management system, this is sort of like a source code repo. I highly recommend Transifex for this. It is cloud based, inexpensive, and supports all popular localization file formats (they also have a Javascript based tool for translating websites). 3) select a translation agency to do the actual translation work. Be sure to pick one that has experience with localization. Expect to pay around 15-20 cents per word for qualified translators with peer review and QA. You get what you pay for, so if you go with one of the cheap agencies, you'll get crap translations that make you look like an amateur. If you need to cut costs, reduce the amount of verbage in your UI and/or reduce the number of languages supported. You can get a lot of traction with just a handful of languages. I'd recommend: Spanish (Latin American), Portuguese (Brazilian), French, Italian, and German. That gets you nearly all of Europe, the Americas, Commonwealth countries, and a good part of Africa. Add Japanese, Chinese and Korean, and you have Asia well covered. My $0.02
Jack Shedd
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Jack Shedd Advisor
Interactive Director at Mess
Seconding Transifex. It's the best thing I've found for projects with many, many languages that remains in active development.
Dan Kihanya
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Dan Kihanya Entrepreneur
Managing Director at Impact Hub Bellevue
Rachel,
Check out Colatris.com. They have expertise in mobile. Only need to a few lines of code to your app and they do the rest.
Brian Ross
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Brian Ross Entrepreneur • Advisor
Engineering Lead at Haven, Inc.
+1 for Transifex, make it a part of your build process to get new translations as they are built.
Mihai Dragomirescu
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Mihai Dragomirescu Entrepreneur
"There is a crack in everything, That's how the light gets in."
Transifex is good for bigger projects. For smaller translations i've used Genco (also used by Transifex)
Karl Schulmeisters
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Karl Schulmeisters Entrepreneur
CTO ClearRoadmap
What Brian said. Google Translate (as a multi-lingual speaker I find Bing Translate does a better job actually) only does a so-so job. but local language expertise is invaluable. For example the following site has no grammatical errors in its use of the English language - but reading the thumbnail sketches its clear that this was translated from French by someone who is book competent but not fluent in English
http://cicret.com/wordpress/#theteam

One has to say that there is a gentle poetry to


Disciple of the design thinking, she had the idea of the bracelet. Even though she doesn't work with us, she follows the project with kindness.

But its quite clearly not business english
Donal Scannell
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Donal Scannell Entrepreneur
Founder at Gigstarter
Rachel - talk to the team at Reverbeo - they have a great product for taking the pain out of translating apps.
Bob Gates
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Bob Gates Advisor
Co-founder, Landdox
I used Smartling in the past and found them very helpful and the tool pretty easy to use. You embed their code in your site, and then you can hire outside translators to do the actual translation, or you can use Smartling's network of translators. We brought in our own translators, so I don't know about the quality of Smartling's.
VS Joshi
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0
VS Joshi Entrepreneur
Founder of Mobile Startup in Social & IoT space - TrintMe
Try big sky. I haven't used them. But they gave a good pitch. If you don't get them, call me and I will connect to the right person. They are cheap too. Cheers VS Joshi [removed to protect privacy] 408 507 6507
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