This practice is useful for ensuring quality in any Collaborative translation initiative, but it is particularly relevant where you are tapping into a large crowd of unknown contributors.

Problem description

Ensuring quality in Collaborative translation can be a challenge. One way to approach this issue is to have the crowd itself do the quality assurance process.

But how do you ensure that the crowdsourced quality assurance itself is done correctly?


One solution to this dilemma is to have members of a community vote on the the quality of a given translation. Once there are sufficient votes in, you consider the translation to be approved.

You can use voting either to approve a single translation, or to choose among competing translations of a same segment.

An advantage of Voting, is that it provides a very low-cost way for people to participate in the Collaborative translation. Indeed, voting on the quality of a translation requires much less effort than producing the translation, or even revising it to repair it.

Links to related patterns

Real-life examples

  • Facebook uses Voting extensively. In their case, users vote both to approve a single translation and to choose among competing translations.
  • Researchers who use crowdsourcing to collect parallel texts also use Voting extensively.