PROS / Gengo is a fast and affordable translation service.
CONS / Certifications vary by translator.
VERDICT / This crowdsource approach to human translation offers high volume and quality at a low cost.
Gengo is a Japanese translation company that uses technology and a crowdsourcing approach to translation services. Not to be mistaken for machine translation, this is high-quality human translation that uses a self-service crowdsourcing technology to link translators and customers. You start by downloading software that installs a dashboard on your desktop computer or mobile device. Vetted translators have similar dashboards that allow them to see if your project fits their language expertise, subject area and time frame. If it does, they choose the language translation project, translate it in the time allocated and return it. Once you receive the completed project, you review and grade it. You then pay for the project using the same dashboard.
While translations from small to large can all be accommodated, Gengo specializes in large and ongoing translations projects. Customers and their business translation projects come from wide-ranging backgrounds that include media, business, publishing, retail, software and many other endeavors.
In our testing, Gengo’s process was fast, easy and inexpensive. In fact, Gengo's translation quality, speed and value received the highest scores in our entire top ten lineup. It does not score as high as it could on our lineup because a few services are missing and the agency takes a different approach to certification and quality control.
While Gengo does not require certification from its translators, its own proprietary testing, spot-checking, peer review processes and customer reviews ensure accuracy. If you feel that some parts of your translation are lacking, you can return your project for a second translation from a senior translator or reject it outright. You can use the website itself to place an order rather than the dashboard API (application program interface), but you get a small price break if you place your order from your dashboard.
The company currently offers translation in 37 languages. In addition to your own customer dashboard, you are assigned a project manager. Price quotations are not needed for this service as you personally determine the amount of difficulty your work entails and then purchase any of three progressively detailed levels of service. You’ll find the Gengo website packed with informative articles and FAQs to help answer your questions, but the service is set up to be essentially self-service and pay-as-you-go.
Gengo has a completely different approach than that of most translation service companies. While its lack of some more in-depth services and accreditation means that it does not score especially high on our lineup, it is actually a very modern and useful service that your company may want to consider. For instance, it has no standard price quotes because you decide how much you will pay. And while industry certifications are also lacking, this is made up for with internal translation testing and peer reviews. Overall, if your company needs a significant amount of translation or a project that is ongoing, the speed, accuracy and economy of Gengo make it a technologically advanced business translation service that is well worth considering.