Crowd sourcing Literature Translation

Polyglit is a new project

Kim Yoonmi wanted a way to translate literature similar to how subtitles get done on Viki … by allowing people who are interested in the translation to work together. “Crowd sourcing” for literature translation.

She has some compelling reasons. There are some cultural literature that publishers are simply not interested in translating because

  • they won’t make a profit
  • it is controversial or political
  • it doesn’t have a large enough general appeal, too niche

Yes, they will carefully be sure to get the copyright permission from the original authors first before translating any literature. Kim Yoonmi is an author herself, so she is quite sensitive to author’s rights.

Check out the kickstarter campaign if you are interested. While her video isn’t “slick” and polished, I am impressed with the people she had gathered to work on the project. She is passionate about making literature accessible.

Her first project will be a classic tale about the Korean version of Robin Hood. However, it is not limited to only Korean language.

One key factor that makes this project better than say Google Translator Toolkit is the focus on sentences (rather than line by line). Korean especially you need to look at a whole sentence for translating, since the verb ends up at the end of the sentence. People who have studied computational linguistics for Korean say you really need to parse Korean sentences starting at the end of the sentence.

In any event, thought I would pass this along. Share with anyone you think might be interested in the project. It could use all the support it can get. Kim Yoonmi is hoping to get a lot of people willing to donate just $10 towards the cause.

1 Like