Translating in the Cloud Age: Online Marketplaces


  • Ignacio Garcia Western Sydney University



cloud computing, online marketplaces, translation crowdsourcing, paid crowdsourcing, post-editing, labour studies


This article explores the influence of cloud computing on translation, including professional translation. Cloud computing reshapes the management of labour in ways that unsettle the traditional relations between managers and workers. It gives managers live control over how a project progresses, and a minute description of how each worker performs. These real-time metrics in turn facilitate rapid, semi-automated performance assessment that focuses on the desired parameters and saves sifting through résumés. Now, even larger translation projects conducted under more conventional project management protocols are being pushed to online marketplaces in the cloud and one of the reasons behind the decision may be so that the generated metadata can be analysed to profile the most efficient procedures and identify the best performing translators.
While the advantages of those online marketplaces to vendors and their clients are apparent, the model’s success requires cloud entrepreneurs to sell it to potential workers as well. The marketing therefore emphasises democratised opportunity, whereby the suitably skilled (amateur or professional) can exploit their linguistic and topic knowledge by working where and when they wish, on more (and more varied) projects. Personal profiling is promoted as an added benefit that helps ensure each individual gets the most suitable offers. From a labour studies perspective however, this paper argues the cloud environment may reduce translators’ bargaining power.




How to Cite

Garcia, I. (2017). Translating in the Cloud Age: Online Marketplaces. HERMES - Journal of Language and Communication in Business, (56), 59–70.



THEMATIC SECTION: Translation Technology Research in Translation Studies