Grow Translation Teams - Quality before Quantity
Github Repository: https://github.com/utopian-io/utopian.io
In my first blog post on promoting the Translation Category coming back alive and stronger in Utopian.io, people are so thrilled with excitement asking us what strategies we are taking to make this re-launch such a great success.
In this second blog post, I will highlight to you our strategies and plan of actions in making the translation category powerful and stronger. Stronger in what sense? Stronger in terms of quality. Our long term overall mission is to create an international community of professional qualified translators helping Open Source projects go global. Thus, quality must come before quantity as we rebuild this category.
Are you a professional translator? Join us in this adventurous translating journey in Utopian.io. This is just the beginning, yet a lot has happened that it seems like it has been a year's work.
B. Strategy - Ensure Quality in Teams
In this Utopian collaboration with Davinci initiatives, our priority is to set up competent translators and proficient proof-readers for FOSS projects via Crowdin. Accurate professional translation is our top priority. Thus far, we have been able to localize some awesome Open Source Projects and are getting them global with high quality translations in 10 different languages.
To maintain the highest standard in translation, there is the necessity to set up teams. Teamwork is essential for high performance. Good teamwork creates synergy where combined effect is greater than the sum of individual effort.
Our strategy is to build small teams of 6 people. Each team has a language moderator overseeing 5 translators.
The Langauge Moderator (LM) is the leader of the team and as such, he/she needs to prove his professionalism as a translator, together with leadership qualities.
This means that to set the Translation Category off on the right track, the crux is in getting on board the best moderator for each language. Whether the translation category cruises in great speed or sinks to its death depends entirely on choosing the right language moderators.
This is where we all need to hold our breath each time when we select a moderator for a particular language. We cannot fail at this most crucial stage.
C. Criteria for Language Moderators
The highest quality is demanded from these moderators as they are given the awesome tasks to review and score translation contributions. Not only are they required to oversee the work of the translators, they are also responsible for preventing abuses, plagiarism, and careless translations done in a rushed manner.
In the past, there was no specialized language moderator to oversee each specific language. Everything was random. An Indonesian moderator could moderate a Turkish translation because of the sheer volume of contributions coming in. As a result, many fake translators submitted machine-translated work for monetary rewards. We learned a hard lesson. This time round, we only allow the moderator who is proficient in his native language to do the moderating work. Only in this way can we ensure top notch quality reviews.
1. Language Moderators are required to have the following skills:
- Must be proficient in the English language
- Must be competent in their native language
- Have good knowledge of Crowdin platform
- Ability to work in a team
- Ability to lead and manage a small team
- Ability to communicate and work with davinci.polyglot team
- Ability to produce reports and ratings used to evaluate posts and translations
- Have a strong will in the search for quality
- Have a strong will to improve steemit platform
- Be very motivated and reliable
- Avoid absenteeism
2. Responsibilities of the Langauge Moderators:
A. Score all Translators Contribution Objectively. No favoritism towards the team is allowed.
B. Build up the quality of translators by providing constructive omments and feedbacks in their reviews:
Give contructive feedback on the good translation skill shown so as to build up the translator
Give specific guidance to help translator to improve on his skill (eg. choice of words, grammar, syntax, semantics etc).
C. For accountability, they are required to hand in bi-weekly reports on the 1st and 15th of the month. Included in the reports are projects translated, contributions moderated, progress of team’s work & evaluation of translators skills.
D. Attend Utopian Managers weekly meetings, if possible, to keep abreast of the ongoing development of Open Source Economy in the Utopian.io Platform.
3. Criteria for Translators
Translators must be skilled in the language that they choose to translate.
With the close mentoring of moderators, these translators will get built up with better translation skills in the course of time.
- Only original work is accepted therefore it is important that the translator has the written skill of his language.
- Low quality and machine-generated translations will not be considered for potential reward and the submitting user may be banned for continually doing so.
- Only active Open Source projects translations will get potential rewards.
- To ensure high quality standard, a maximum of 1 contribution per day is enforced.
- Translators must take their time to translate each string with utmost care and not rush.
- Only verified translators are eligible to submit translations for potential reward.
4. Specific Guidelines in Actual Translation:
- Translation of static texts (that should not be translated) like links, code and paths, will lead to a significantly lower score of a contribution, thus reducing its chances of receiving a reward.
- Duplicated strings / texts cannot be considered for the count of words that will impact the score.
- Full translations are more likely to receive a higher score. Partial submitted translations should be cohesive and consistent with existing translations to other parts of the project.
- If a contributor’s lack of proficiency in the source or target language of the translation is apparent, the submission will not be considered for potential reward, and the user may lose their approval to submit contributions to the category or Utopian.io in whole.
- Translations submitted on CrowdIn should be proofread.
Submissions must include extensive details to allow for the proofing of the translation, and list the tools used to manage the translation work (when applicable).
- Translations of the same text made by different contributors will be accepted only if the moderator can recognise the higher quality of the newest translation compared to that ones previously submitted.
D. The Path from Strategy to Execution
As someone who has been a business entrepreneur in the last 10 years, I know that great strategies with great execution produce winning outcomes.
We planned and we executed. Not everything was smooth so in the process, we needed to have the flexibility to modify the plan in order to meet the immediate challenge we didn't forsee in the planning.
The original plan was that the Community Managers would choose the Language Moderators for the different languages, and then from there, the moderators would choose their own translators in their teams. During execution, the plan was slightly modified where our Community Managers took on the task of choosing suitable qualified translators for the teams instead of the moderators. We were not expecting the overwhelming influx of applications coming in when we opened the door for recruitment. An average of about 60 applications came in within the first 2 days. So overwhelming were these applications that we had to put a cut off date on the third day so that we could deal with the sheer volume of candidates. The team of community managers worked arduously in a harmonious way day and night that week to complete the awesome task.
133 candidates applied in the first recruitment. More people applied for translators than moderators. For quality consistency in evaluating all candidates, it worked out for the better that the Community managers also reviewed the suitability of translators. The moderators actually have an enormous task on hand already. In this way, we were glad to be able to alleviate them from this time-consuming task of choosing translators for their teams.
E. Conclusion - Quality Control
The translation category at @Utopian.io is moving forward in fast speed but in QUALITY control. The Community managers are proud of our language moderators and translators.
Image made by @pab.ink
We now have 10 Language Moderators + 41 verified translators on board already in 6 weeks time.
Are you a professional translator? We are calling out for more translators to join us. Let's continue to promote Open Source translation via the Utopian-DaVinci collaboration.
F. Blog Series:
#2 Promoting Translation in Utopian.io - Growing Translation Teams in Quality - Today's post
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