Would you volunteer to translate commercial products for free?

Adobe announced a month ago or so about Adobe® Translation Center where people with 'language expertise' can contribute translations to their pool of products. I was very curious and I headed to their Translation Center page to see what is this all about. So, here is what Adobe thinks about this new 'initiative'.


"What is the Adobe Community Translation program?

The Adobe Community Translation program enables users all over the world to contribute translations for Adobe products and services, including the user interface of Adobe software applications as well as Adobe TV episodes.

What are the benefits of the Adobe Community Translation program?

At Adobe, we are always looking for new ways to make our software available to as many people as possible and to connect more meaningfully with our users. Community translation helps us do both. This platform enables users from all corners of the globe to participate in Adobe's software and content development process while collaborating with others to provide authentic translations for the languages they know best. This program provides vital feedback and support, so Adobe can create the software users want in the languages they need. And users get the chance to directly influence the development and language support of their favorite Adobe tools.


Why did Adobe create the Community Translation program?

Adobe created this program to achieve two key objectives. First, we want to provide a feedback mechanism to our user community for languages that are already supported by Adobe. In essence, we want to connect this community to our professional translators, so the quality of our translations improves over time. Second, we want to empower our user community to spearhead new product versions for languages that Adobe doesn't currently support."


The way Adobe phrased its post is perceived as if it is meant to be a feedback mechanism on Adobe's translations and under their FAQ, they say that this won't replace their trusted translation suppliers and professional providers.


In the future, does Adobe plan to rely on community translation exclusively?

No. We will continue to work with our trusted professional translators. The Adobe Community Translation program provides important support to our overall localization strategy, but it will not replace our traditional localization process. Our vision is to connect both worlds. By bringing together our professional translators and our user community, we can improve the quality of our products and make them available to more users in more places.

But the most interesting part was the following. According to Adobe, community translation, the mild variation of 'crowdsourcing' maybe, costs more than traditional translation process. That was interesting and for some reason, I don't swallow this. 

It will be interesting to hear from other 'translators' who participated in Facebook and Twitter translations.

For some translators, such initiative is a mere threat to their profession because it takes jobs away from real professionals. Community translators will basically translate for free. I won't mind doing free translations for an open-source project, but when it comes to commercial software, I don't think this is the right or fair way to go.

I will keep an eye on Adobe's initiative and see how it moves forward. I hope it won't eventually replace their professional translators.

To translators reading this post, how do you feel about it? Do you see it as a threat to you? Would you accept translating commercial products for free?