Ackuna platform provides app developers free crowd-sourced translations

Image via Ackuna

With the explosive growth of app downloads worldwide, more and more developers are in need of translation technology in order to bring their products to users around the globe.

Ackuna provides just this, offering expert translations from professionals at the paid level, or crowd-sourced translations as an entry point for free. A definite upgrade over machine translations that spit out word for word translations that often times end up either incoherent or downright hilarious.

Ackuna even has a bad translator site that shows how after 35 translations, Bing somehow flips “You must not commit adultery” back into “Thoust needs potato.”

“Ackuna started out as a proofreader platform where people got a free machine translation, and then if they wanted a more professional proofreading, we would assign it to a professional translator, but overall, there was nothing too exciting about that,” explains Matt Bramowicz, Ackuna’s VP of Marketing. “We decided to switch gears completely since then, with a focus on app developers. It was the new, emerging market, and most apps were in English, but not other languages.”

From there, the Ackuna team put app developers together with crowd sourcing, eliminating the machine translations all together because of just how inaccurate they tended to be.

“We needed to find a way where they could still receive free translations, but it will be a more accurate human version,” says Bramowicz. “That’s how we came up with Ackuna.”

App developers can simply sign up for free on Ackuna’s site, then upload their series of string files.

“It can be on any subject matter,” says Bramowicz. “You just fill out the description once you upload it. That at least gives the translators an idea of what your app is about.”

Once uploaded, there’s no additional formatting needed, although developers are recommended to also upload screenshots of their app to further help the translators get a better sense of the subject matter.

“The more information a developer can provide about the app, the better their translations end up,” says Bramowicz. “You can then choose what languages you want your app to be translated into, picking anywhere from 1 to 20 different languages.

“Most app developers want Spanish, especially within the United States, that’s such a big secondary language. Aside from that, globally, Chinese is next in line, then Japanese, German, Russian, and French.”

Clients to date include apps ranging from Stormfly to Tarzan Unleashed, with translations hitting everything from Indonesian and Italian to Polish and Portuguese.

“It really hits across the globe,” adds Bramowicz. “The crowd-sourcing option is free, and then we have a second option with a professional upgrade. Here, we’ll take your text and give it to one professional translator, and that is a paid option (30 cents per word) where you’ll get your text returned in 24 to 48 hours depending on the length.

“We have about 6,000 users signed up so far, and our clients seem to be really happy about what we’re doing. The goal is to open up your app to speakers from all across the world.”