Crowdsourcing boosts translation works

Updated: 2014-09-17 07:55

By Xing Yi(China Daily)

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Crowdsourcing boosts translation works

The Voyage of the Beagle, published in print, translated by Yeeyan's Project Gutenberg. Photo provided to China Daily

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An ambitious digital venture is underway at the office of Internet company in Sihui East, Beijing's eastern suburb.

Yeeyan's Project Gutenberg, which has been ongoing since 2012, is credited with the online translation of Charles Darwin's The Voyage of the Beagle. Yeeyan published the Chinese version in August in cooperation with the China Youth Publishing House.

Taking after the original Project Gutenberg, which was initiated by late American author Michael Stern Hart in 1971, to make e-books freely available to people, Yeeyan's project focuses on giving Chinese online readers the option of getting foreign books for free.

Yeeyan has already translated and published around 200 e-books from different languages, with 300 more titles to go. More than 20 books have also been published in print, and many are scheduled to hit bookstores in the coming months.

"This is done by 3,000 translators in our online community," says Zhao Jia-min, 41, the founder of Yeeyan. "We have only two full-time editors in the office to coordinate the schedule of the translation of each book."

Crowdsourced translation, where multiple translators work on the same book, is easily the secret behind the project's success. On average, there are about four translators for each book, with one being the coordinator and supervisor.

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