Publication details [#55883]

Mesipuu, Marit. 2012. Translation crowdsourcing and user-translator motivation at Facebook and Skype. Translation Spaces 1 (1) : 33–53.
Publication type
Article in journal
Publication language
Place, Publisher
John Benjamins
Journal DOI


There is a growing trend among some internet software companies to involve users in the translation process by inviting or enabling them to shape the way the final product reads in their native languages. This is called translation crowdsourcing, and an increasing number of user-translators are willing to dedicate their spare time to contribute to such undertakings. What motivates them to do so, and how could their motivation be boosted? In order to answer these questions, this article looks at Facebook and Skype, examples of the two most common translation crowdsourcing models: open community and closed community. The first part of the article describes these two models, highlighting their principal differences and the business needs that help determine which model is adopted. The second part examines the origins of user-translator motivation and the ways that these two software companies maintain and boost motivation.