Flitto is a crowdsourcing translation and social media application that allows users to request translations into various languages, launched in 2012. Flitto supports text, image, and voice translations, and also has 1:1 Pro translation service – for those who need to respect confidentiality agreements or require professional translations – in 18 different languages. Bilingual or multilingual people who are interested in doing a little bit of translation on the side, can become translators on this platform.
An innovative point system
Perhaps the most attractive and interesting thing about Flitto is its point system: Users can earn points through translation tasks. As a user, after you select which language they can translate into, and pass a language test, the mobile app will “push” you tasks corresponding to their language selection. If your translation is selected as the best one, you will get be rewarded with points. When you have accumulated a certain number of points, you can exchange them in the Flitto store for cash or prizes, such as an Amazon gift card, or you can use them to “buy” a translation.
The points system is just like a game reward system. In this way, the platform encourages more people to participate, attracting non-professional translators that are experts from different industries, and effectively improving the response rate and speed of translation requests. We all agree that translation is mental work, it takes time and effort, and the reward system inspires positive motivation for the individual translators.
A variety of translation tasks
The translation tasks in Flitto are not all professional documents. You can find a large variety of translation requests, from a notice, to a letter, a magazine cover, a poster, a voice recording, or even a page from a comic book. Professional, certified, translations can be very expensive, and are not really necessary for many types of translation requests. In Flitto, translations can be obtained at a relatively reasonable price.
A growing number of users
Flitto’s exchange rate is 50,000 points for 35 US dollars. In general, one task merits 100 – 800 points, so If you want to make a profit , you would need to complete hundreds of tasks. It’s clear that, compared with the professional translation market price, Flitto’ s reward is not the most attractive. Although it may not be realistic to make a living through the platform, the incentive reward system has effectively increased the number of users to 8.5 million. According to the CEO Simon Lee, Flitto has almost 3 million translators and the platform performs more than 70 thousand translations per day.
A significant contribution to machine translation
As for the revenue of the platform itself, 80% of it in fact comes from the sale of linguistic data (corpus), to customers such as Microsoft, Oxford University Press, Baidu, Tencent, NTT DoCoMo and the South Korean government’s Electronics and Telecommunications Research Institute in order to help them to train their machine translation programs. In 2017, Flitto generated around 110 million corpora. In 2018, it has already generated 95 million corpora as of May, and is expected to reach 200 million by the end of the year.
Although machine translation is gradually becoming more accepted in the wave of modern technical developments, automatic translation tools have always their limits and are still imperfect. As a successful crowdsourcing translation platform, Flitto’s corpus will also help to make machine translation faster and more accurate.