New Trends in Crowdsourcing: The Kiva/Idem Case Study



A presentation by Monica Moreno of Idem Translations and Naomi Baer of Kiva, examining current crowdsourcing trends in translation through five brief case studies. A question and answer period opens up discussion regarding the opportunities and risks faced by the translation field due to this growing trend. The presentation was given at the General Meeting of the Northern California Translators Association (www.ncta.org) in San Francisco on December 12, 2009. The accompanying PowerPoint presentation (4.5 MB) can be downloaded from here: http://tinyurl.com/y9l6j33.

The term “crowdsourcing” was created just three years ago and is already causing much discussion and experimentation in the translation industry. What does crowdsourcing mean in the context of translation, and what does this new wave of translation crowdsourcing projects look like? How do community translation projects that predate the invention of this term relate to the trends today?

As a rapidly growing international nonprofit organization, Kiva faces the challenge of how to efficiently handle translations and has developed a unique translation crowdsourcing methodology. Kiva’s approach integrates volunteer resources, a mentoring program, and a professional translation agency, Idem Translations.

Monica Moreno, of Idem Translations, and Naomi Baer, of Kiva, discuss emerging translation crowdsourcing projects at both not-for-profit and for-profit organizations, provide insights into why organizations are interested in this approach, and what can be gained.

They also discuss Kiva’s work in international microlending, the language barrier at Kiva, and the structure of Kiva’s translation program. The role and value of Idem’s partnership with Kiva as a professional translation agency, and the role of professional translators in crowdsourcing programs, are also addressed.

About the speakers:
Naomi Baer is an ATA-certified Portuguese>English translator, with over 15 years of experience in the translation field. She founded Kiva’s Community Translation Program in December 2006, and has since expanded the program to include over 400 volunteers translating from French, Portuguese, Russian and Spanish to English. She holds the position of Director of Microloan Review and Translation at Kiva, and is responsible for developing the infrastructure and program framework required to support Kiva’s growing translation community, and for leading the team which manages this volunteer program.

Monica Moreno is a localization manager at Idem Translations. She is responsible for IT and Medical Device accounts and she is also the account manager for Kiva at Idem. In addition, she is an avid social media and crowdsourcing fan. Her background includes a B.A. in English Studies and a Master’s degree in Translation and Interpretation at the Monterey Institute of International Studies. Prior to joining Idem Translations, Monica gained practical experience in the translation field at several IT companies and the United Nations Headquarters.

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