Published 26 July 2013
“Aimeriez-vous lire mon blog du vin?”. Well, unless you speak French, the answer is probably “non”. I am embarrassed to say that, although I speak a splattering of French, German and Italian, none is good adequate to enable me to read a blog written in anything but English. With so many great wine blogs around the world, this is a shame.
So, when I heard about Webflakes, I was interested. Launched in May 2013, the company has selected 60 bloggers in Japan, France, Italy, Spain, Argentina, Switzerland and Peru, and has licensed the rights to their content in every language other than the original. A team of volunteers translates the text and posts it to webflakes.com – et voila!
The site covers a variety of lifestyle content, from architecture to food, fashion to travel … and of course wine. There are currently 67 blogs being translated from 7 languages: 15 of them are about wine. Neither author nor translator are currently paid for their work (although a small contribution is made to a charity for every 500 words translated) – it’s all about exposure for the blogger and experience for the translator. When I asked Nathan Shuchami, Webflakes’ CEO, about whether this would change in the future, he said “Yes, this is definitely something we plan on doing. At some point in the future we are planning to monetize our content, and share the revenues with all community members involved – bloggers and translators.”
Obviously the translation is only as good as the original text, but I’ve found some very enjoyable wine posts:
- Argentina’s 2013 vintage by The Big Wine Theory (Argentina)
- Wine pairings for pigeon and a Chablis tasting by Sommelier Vins (France)
- Franciacorta’s Satèn by A Thousand Bubbles (Italy)
But why do they bother to use a human translator? Would Google Translate (or similar system) not suffice? “The nature of the content that we’re focusing on is not ideal for machine-based translators like that of Google Translate.”, replied Shuchami. “It just doesn’t offer the accuracy and localization we are looking for with our content. We want to stay as true to the author’s voice as possible so by using real people we can maintain the integrity and intent of the blogger.”
It’ll be interesting to see how the site develops and what benefits it brings to the bloggers.
Have you read any posts on Webflakes? Or are you a contributor / translator on Webflakes? I’d love to hear your experience.