What is Webflakes?
Webflakes is a new lifestyle website featuring top blogs from around the world translated into English. We feature the most original, fascinating content from the world’s best and brightest international writers on the topics that feed your curiosity including fashion, travel, food, wine, design, relationships and architecture. This content is written in the bloggers’ native languages, and therefore has never been available to English speakers—until now. Our global community of volunteers translates this content into English, making it accessible to readers worldwide. We have content from such countries as France, Spain, Switzerland, Argentina, Peru, Japan, and more.
What does Webflakes aim to do?
We aim to liberate the Internet from the language barriers that exist by providing English readers access to authentic, quality content from the source. Our community of volunteer translators is the heart of the operation for Webflakes and by removing the language barriers, everyone can seamlessly access and enjoy fresh, smart global content in one place. When people search the web for topics of interest they tend to think that they are getting all of the relevant search results. However, most of the time there is much more content, it just isn’t easily accessible. When Google detects your IP address, it automatically returns search results in the default language. For instance, if you were searching for French wine, you wouldn’t get the reviews in French. To actually do so you would have to search Google.fr. By translating the authentic content, we change the current paradigm.
What are the benefits that translators gain by using Webflakes?
To begin with, our translator base is very diverse which attracts people to join the community. Many of our translators are professionals who simply want to translate more lifestyle driven content in their free time. Two of the primary translation niches are legal and medical translation which have very complex texts. Translating for Webflakes is an opportunity to translate something a bit lighter and also develop a new expertise. Someone who focuses on technical translations may not necessarily know the appropriate terms for gastronomy or architecture in their target language. This is their opportunity to expand their knowledge.
Another segment of our community is students who are completing a degree in translation. They love the fact that they have the opportunity to practice and make progress at their leisure while developing an online portfolio of their work. Webflakes offers students great exposure and a way to build up their CV, which they can then share with potential employers and clients.
Since our translators are volunteers who are donating their time to Webflakes, we wanted to honor them in some way. For that reason, we developed relationships with seven charities: Doctors without Borders, charity: water, the Rainforest Alliance, Pencils of Promise, CARE, Plan, and the American Institute for Cancer Research. We’ve committed to donating $1 for every 500 words that are translated. We are really proud of our activities in this area.
No matter what segment they belong to, all of our volunteers love the fact that they are making a difference by helping to raise money for their favorite charity! We’ve received many poignant emails from our translators about the different reasons they choose a certain charity. One of our community members is committed to translating to raise money for the American Institute for Cancer Research in honor of her husband who lost his battle to the disease.
Why should you join our translator community?
Whether you want to further develop your translation skills, support a charity, or are looking to learn about a new topic and specialize in categories you are passionate about, there are a multitude of reasons to join the Webflakes community. And of course there are many translators who are passionate about foreign languages and cultures simply do it for that reason. You’ll get a different answer from any one of our community members.
Why doesn’t Webflakes just use machine translation?
Although Google Translate and other machine translators are helpful tools, they still do not consistently provide accurate and understandable translations. This is very true of idiomatic expressions, slang, and niche topics, which sometimes have a lexicon onto themselves. There is still nothing like human translation–it’s as simple as that. But it’s even difficult for a user to get to the point when they need the machine translation because normally foreign language sites wouldn’t appear in their search results.
How does Webflakes work?
It’s really easy. People sign up through our website to become translators via a quick 3-step process. They are asked to select their categories of interest, their language, and the charity they would like to raise money for. Once that’s done their dashboard is filled with blogger content in Spanish, French, Italian, or Japanese in the categories they selected. Once they select their post of interest, they are ready to start translating. Upon completion, the post is reviewed by a volunteer senior translator. A senior translator is someone who is very experienced in translation and can easily catch translation/proofreading errors. Because we want to help the translation quality improve, the senior translators rank the translation and provide feedback for next time.
Can translation and language programs benefit from Webflakes?
Since we saw early on that many of our translators are indeed students, we thought it was important to develop a way to work with academic programs in a variety of ways. This is quickly gaining momentum. Some professors tell their students to use Webflakes for experience, others provide extra credit. It takes pressure off the professor to look for content when they can simply tell the students to log into Webflakes. Some universities actually have the professor as the senior translator and grade the students through the Webflakes platform. They also have the option to direct the charity dollars to a university program. It truly is a natural fit and a win-win for everyone involved.
Are you planning on adding new languages, categories, and bloggers?
Having just launched the site a few months ago, this is just the beginning for Webflakes. We plan to expand the countries, languages, and categories we currently offer. Additionally, we hope to translate English into other languages as well as a diverse offering of multiple translations per blog, creating a true language mecca. That would completely break down all the language barriers. We’re always open to feedback and suggestions regarding our language offerings from our readers and translator community.
Why do we do it?
We believe language shouldn’t be a barrier in accessing good content. We believe quality content transcends cultures, continents, and languages. And we believe everyone, no matter what language they speak, should have access to content relevant to them, straight from the source. We are committed to a world with “content beyond boundaries.”
Florence Broder is the translator community manager for Webflakes. She has over ten years of marketing and social media experience in both the nonprofit and for-profit sectors. Since she is trilingual, has traveled extensively, and loves different cultures; she couldn’t think of a better place to work than Webflakes.