Here are some answers to frequently-asked questions about Ackuna.
Don't see your question answered here? Just email us and let us know. We'll try to help as best we can!
Ackuna is a platform to crowd source text between different translators. For a full overview of how Ackuna works and what it can do for you, visit the about page.
Reputation is a gauge of how trusted someone is on Ackuna. The higher a translator's reputation, the more trustworthy they are (and the more likely their translations are accurate). The number is affected by a number of factors, as detailed in the next question.
There are a number of ways to gain reputation:
- Segment voted up: +5 to the project creator
- Segment voted down: -2 to the project creator
- Translation voted up: +10 to the translator
- Translation voted down: -2 to the translator and -1 to the voter
- Translation accepted: +15 to the translator and +2 to the project creator
We have recently introduced a new feature on Ackuna where you can earn credit on Ackuna based on your participation on the site.
Currently, the exchange rate is $1.00 per 250 reputation points. So every time your reputation level climbs another 250 points, you will be awarded another $1.00 in credit on the site. If your reputation falls back below the point threshold level, you will only be awarded the credit for the first time you exceed that level of reputation.
Note that this credit can be used for promoting your project on Ackuna. There are currently no plans for a "cash-out" option to withdraw money from the site.
You can keep track of how much money you've earned through the My Transactions page when logged in, accessible from the drop-down menu at the top of each page.
Site credit earned through the method listed in the Can I earn money with Ackuna? section above can be transferred between users.
When viewing a user's profile, click on the "Send Money" button (listed below the follow/unfollow buttons) and follow the instructions on page.
When you send or receive money from another user, the recipient has up to 72 hours to accept it and deposit that credit into their account; otherwise the money will remain in the sender's account. You also have the option to reject a transaction outright.
You can keep track of how much money you've earned through the My Transactions page when logged in, accessible from the drop-down menu at the top of each page.
Yes, in addition to participation, you can earn credit for referring new users to sign up on Ackuna.
When viewing your profile, below your current active balance, you will see a referral link. Just send this URL to whoever you think would benefit from using Ackuna, either as a translator or developer.
We will review new referrals, and if the user is valid and active on the site, we will credit your account! The current rate is $1.00 per referral, sent periodically as new user accounts are reviewed and the referral status approved.
Badges are a marks of distinction that are awarded to translators for completing various tasks on Ackuna. The more active a translator is on Ackuna, the more badges he earns and unlocks.
Badges can be unlocked by performing specific actions on Ackuna. You can earn the Translator badge, for instance, by submitting a translation for any project and having another translator confirm its accuracy by voting it up.
To see a full list of badges you can earn and how to earn them, visit the badges page.
To create a project, you need to be a registered user. Once you have an account, visit the create a project page by clicking the "Get a Translation" link at the top of the page and fill out the information on that form.
Choose your source language (the language your text is already in), target languages (what you want it translated into), and attach your file with the text you want translated. (Please see the Supported Formats section below for more information on accepted file formats.) If you have special requirements, add them too.
Press the Preview button to view an outline of your project before it's created. If everything looks accurate, click Create Project. If you need to make changes, click Edit Project Details.
You can view all of the projects you've submitted by clicking on the "My Projects" link under your username in the header.
For your convenience, Ackuna accepts a number of text formats when creating a new project.
Depending on your needs, you can choose whichever of the following methods is easiest for you to work with.
You can create a simple, specially-formatted strings file, such as the following example. This system is most useful for translating websites, software, and other applications.
/* Comments will not be translated. */ "VARIABLE_NAME" = "Hello"; "VARIABLE_NAME_2" = "When using \"quotes\" in strings they should be escaped."; "VARIABLE_NAME_3" = "Multi-line strings are okay, too.";
Note: The first value between the quotation marks is treated as a variable and is not translated. The second value between the quotation marks is treated as the text to translate.
Android XML format.
A simple XML structure like the example below can easily be stripped down, translated, and rebuilt.
<?xml version="1.0" encoding="utf-8"?> <resources> <string name="string_1">Hello</string> <string name="string_2">Goodbye</string> <string name="string_3">A full sentence with punctuation is okay, too.</string> <string name="string_4">Special characters %s permissible.</string> </resources>
Blackberry resource file format
LABEL_ONE#0="Hello"; LABEL_TWO#0="Goodbye"; LABEL_THREE#0="A full sentence with punctuation is okay, too."; LABEL_FOUR#0="Special characters %s and \"markup\" permissible.";
Java configuration file format.
# Comments are not transkated. ! The exclamation mark can also mark text as comments. my.first_string = Hello my.second_string = Be sure to include whitespace before your string. # The key and element characters #, !, =, and : are written with a preceding backslash to ensure that they are properly loaded. string_with_special_characters = Visit http\://ackuna.com today\! # Spaces are allowed in keys if they are escaped properly. key\ with\ spaces = This is the value that could be looked up with the key "key with spaces".
--- label_1: "Hello" group_1: label_2: "Goodbye" label_3: "A full sentence with punctuation is okay, too." label_4: "Special characters %s and <b>markup</b> permissible."
Windows 8 Localization File
<?xml version="1.0" encoding="utf-8"?> <root> <!-- Comments and resheader data are not translated. --> <resheader name="resmimetype"> <value>text/microsoft-resx</value> </resheader> <data name="yourLabelHere" xml:space="preserve"> <value>Your text string values will be translated.</value> </data> </root>
ASP.NET Resource File
<?xml version="1.0" encoding="utf-8"?> <root> <!-- Comments and meta data will not be translated. --> <xsd:schema id="root" xmlns="" xmlns:xsd="http://www.w3.org/2001/XMLSchema" xmlns:msdata="urn:schemas-microsoft-com:xml-msdata"> <xsd:import namespace="http://www.w3.org/XML/1998/namespace" /> <xsd:element name="root" msdata:IsDataSet="true"> <xsd:complexType> <xsd:choice maxOccurs="unbounded"> <xsd:element name="metadata"> <xsd:complexType> <xsd:sequence> <xsd:element name="value" type="xsd:string" minOccurs="0" /> </xsd:sequence> <xsd:attribute name="name" use="required" type="xsd:string" /> <xsd:attribute ref="xml:space" /> </xsd:complexType> </xsd:element> </xsd:choice> </xsd:complexType> </xsd:element> </xsd:schema> <resheader name="foo"> <value>Header data will not be translated either.</value> </resheader> <data name="FirstString" xml:space="preserve"> <value>Only these two "data" strings will be translated.</value> </data> <data name="SecondString" xml:space="preserve"> <value>So this string will be translated, too!</value> </data> </root>
.xls and .xlsx
Ackuna can accept specially-formatted spreadsheets in both .xls and .xlsx formats.
Because Ackuna needs spreadsheets to be in a specific structure in order to properly parse the text, we have created a detailed spreadsheet help page to assist users in creating a properly-formatted spreadsheet file.
Portable Object (GNU gettext file).
Projects uploaded in .po format no longer include header data as translated text.
Additionally, if you already have translations submitted within "msgstr" tags in the document, they will be automatically submitted for proofreading to your project on Ackuna.
When downloading your completed project, the target language header data will be updated with the correct language code automatically.
# Comments and header data will not be translated. msgid "" msgstr "" "POT-Creation-Date: 2014-12-31 12:00-0400\n" "PO-Revision-Date: 2015-01-01 12:00-0400\n" "Language: xx\n" "Last-Translator: Jane Doe <email@example.com>\n" "MIME-Version: 1.0\n" "Content-Type: text/plain; charset=utf-8\n" msgid "Hello" msgstr "" msgid "" "A segment spanning multiple lines " "can be translated as well." msgstr "" msgid "Translations from pre-translated segments will be submitted, based on the language data set in the header." msgstr "Anslationstray omfray e-translatedpray egmentsay illway ebay ubmittedsay, asedbay onay ethay anguagelay ataday etsay inay ethay eaderhay." msgid "Special characters %s and \"other\" <b>markup</b> permissible." msgstr ""
.xlf and .xliff
XLIFF XML Localization Interchange File Format
Projects uploaded in XLIFF format no longer include header data as translated text.
Additionally, if you already have translations submitted within <target> tags in the document, they will be automatically submitted for proofreading to your project on Ackuna. To automatically mark any of your original translations as "accepted" on Ackuna, simply set the "approved" attribute to yes in your open <target> translation tag.
When downloading your completed project, the target language header data will be updated with the correct language code automatically.
<?xml version="1.0" encoding="utf-8"?> <xliff version="1.2" xmlns="urn:oasis:names:tc:xliff:document:1.2" xmlns:xsi="http://www.w3.org/2001/XMLSchema-instance" xsi:schemaLocation="urn:oasis:names:tc:xliff:document:1.2 xliff-core-1.2-transitional.xsd"> <file datatype="html" original="demo.ssi" source-language="en" target-language="es"> <body> <trans-unit id="label_1" approved="no"> <source>Hello</source> <target></target> </trans-unit> <trans-unit id="label_2" approved="no"> <source>Translations from pre-translated segments will be submitted.</source> <target>Anslationstray omfray e-translatedpray egmentsay illway ebay ubmittedsay.</target> </trans-unit> <trans-unit id="label_3" approved="yes"> <source>Translations marked as "approved" will be automatically marked as "accepted" on Ackuna.</source> <target>Anslationstray arkedmay asway "approvedway" illway ebay automaticallyway arkedmay asway "acceptedway" ybay Ackunaway.</target> </trans-unit> <trans-unit id="label_4" approved="no"> <source>Some "special" <b>characters</b> are permitted.</source> <target></target> </trans-unit> </body> </file> </xliff>
Portable Document Format
Ackuna now supports parsing the text from simple PDF files, tested with PDF version 1.4 (and for those using Adobe, up to PDF Library 5.0). The parser will ignore anything that is not addressed as text within the PDF.
Any special formatting, including font style, weight, or color; borders; margins; or images will be stripped out when you upload your file.
When the completed translation is downloaded, it will be returned in a plain-text PDF, with each translated string in a separate PDF "cell" text container. Images, styles, and other advanced features will not be retained.
Ackuna still may be able to parse the text out of more advanced PDF files with some of these features, however the text will be returned to you in a simple, plain-text format like this once the translation is complete.
You can add example photos to your project to help translators get a better idea of how text strings are to be used in your finished project.
This is especially helpful for short or partial text strings that only make sense as part of a larger whole.
To add context images, you must be logged in and viewing your project. Select the text string you want to add the photo to (in any language). Click the "Add a photo" button, then click "Upload a file" and select the photo you want to submit. Click "OK" and the photo will be displayed to the right of your text string (the photo will be available on the translation page for that text in any language).
Once you've uploaded a photo, you can re-use it again on another text string, too. Just click the "Add a photo" button on another string and select the photo from the pop-up, then click "OK".
Photos can be removed from text strings from the same pop-up menu as well by clicking the "X" in the upper right-hand corner of the image thumbnail.
Marking translations as correct locks the translated text in so that when you download the completed project, you can guarantee that all of the text in the completed translation is what you wanted. If you don't mark a translation as correct for a segment of your project, we will assume that the currently highest-ranked translation is correct and use it.
You can only mark translations correct for projects you submitted.
You can mark a translation as correct by clicking the "Mark this translation as the accepted translation" link beneath the text. This action cannot be undone. If you don't believe the text is accurate, do nothing; uou can wait for a better translation to be submitted.
Because you most likely don't know the language you're seeking a translation in, it can be difficult to determine if a translation is accurate or not before accepting it as correct. Use a translator's reputation and badges as an indicator of their credibility, and take into account the comments and feedback left on each translation by other translators. Use these factors and your best judgment before accepting the translation of your text.
New! You can add translators you trust as editors for your project. Just click the "settings" button next to any project on your My Projects page and scroll down to the "Add editors" section at the bottom of the page. Search for any translator and click their username to add them as an editor for that project.
You can also view the progress of all the translations for your app at a glance. From the My Projects page, click any blue language icon underneath your project to view this page—from here you can view the current highest-voted translation for each string and mark as many as "accepted" as you want.
Want a translator to review and edit all your translations? Add usernames for trusted users and they can edit any translation for your project, even ones you've already marked as "accepted."
Just click the "settings" button next to any project on your My Projects page and scroll down to the "Add editors" section at the bottom of the page. Search for any translator and click their username to add them as an editor for that project.
Editors can also be removed from the project's Settings page. Just click their username under the Current Editors section to immediately remove them.
Editors can edit any translation on your project, even translations you've already marked as accepted, so be sure that you only add translators you trust to help edit your project.
If the text strings for your app have changed since you first created your project on Ackuna, you can upload a revised version of the file from the Edit Project page. You can access this page by clicking the "Edit" button from your My Projects page, linked from the dropdown menu at the upper right when logged in.
Your revised file must be the same format and extension as your original file. Once your file is uploaded, you can review the strings once more and make changeds necessary and deselect any strings that do not require translation*, if necessary, before submitting the project.
Once you submit the changes, your original project will be temporarily disabled an inaccesible while the new strings are uploaded and merged into your project. If any translations, comments, context photos, or othre data are found in the original text that matches the new text, they will be linked up to your new strings.
When the revisions are finished being submitted, your project will be reopened and you will receive an email letting you know the change is complete.
* All segments submitted in XLS and XLSX projects must be included.
Once you've created a new project, you can view it (along with all of your past projects) by clicking your username in the header and selecting "My Projects" from the drop-down menu.
From your projects page, you can click the Download button next to any project to view the completed project.
From the completed-project overview page you can view the completed translation for each language you selected. If you created a project by uploading a .xls or .strings file, you can click the Download the file button beneath each translation to get the text back in whichever format you submitted it.
You will not be able to view a completed translation until every segment in your project has at least one translation submitted (UPDATE: This feature is now deprecated. You can download your project without waiting till the last segment is translated.)
Your project might benefit from an extra boost to increase intrest from our community of translators, and Ackuna has introduced some new features to help get your project more views:
- Send email notifications to translators: Ackuna has thousands of volunteer translators waiting to help translate your project. To notify these translators by email of your project, we charge a small fee of only $1.99 per language pair.
- Feature your project on the front page: We now offer the ability to feature your project on the front page of Ackuna, listed before all the other projects! This is done on a first-come, first-serve basis—your project will be listed first on the home page, but will be bumped down gradually as additional users pay to feature their projects. The cost to be featured on the front page is $4.99.
Both of these new features are available when you create a new project. Just select either option when previewing your project—that's it! You can also utilize these features after projects have been created; from the "My Projects" page when logged in, a promote button should be visible after all of your active projects. Simply click this and select the options from that page. We accept most major credit cards as well as PayPal.
New! Additionally, you can use your earned site credit to pay for these features. Learn more about that in the Can I earn money with Ackuna? section above. If you have any available credit on file, just check off the "apply my $x.xx credit to this amount" checkbox in the billing section of the Project Create or Promote Project pages. To use this credit, you will still need a valid credit card on file, or have the "PayPal" option selected, but you will not be charged unless the amount of credit in your account does not cover the full amount.
Additionally, once your project has already been created, Ackuna offers a number of simple methods for sharing links and information about your project by email and social media. Just log in and view the My Projects page on your profile (click your username in the upper right); from that page, you will find a "promote" button next to each of your unfinished projects. Click it and you'll find a number of easy ways to share your project by email, Facebook, Twitter, Google Plus, and more.
In addition to using some of the promotion options above, we also now offer a feature to pre-translate your project's segments using Google Translate.
Although the quality of machine translation is not as high as those submitted by human translators, using this option can help speed up the process by pre-translating all of your text with Google Translate. Translators will have the machine translations as a jumping-off point and can proofread them rather than translating the whole string from scratch!.
Note: As a cost-saving feature, machine translations will only be submitted for any segment that does not have an accepted translation or a translation retrieved from Translation Memory. Additionally, any translation from Google Translate that is identical to one submitted by another user will not be submitted.
This option is available from the Preview page when first creating your project, and is also available for qualified projects from your My Projects page—just look for the "Pre-Translate" link.
Translators can send you "bids" as an offer to translate your entire project in exchange for a payment. You can accept, reject, or make a counter offer by emailing them back or sending them a private message through Ackuna.
Want this translator to review and edit your project? Click on "Edit Project" to add user. Add them as an "editor" and they can access and modify all the strings for your project.
Users won't be notified by the system when they are added as an editor, so be sure to send them a message to verify it with them personally.
Note: bids are private agreements beteween the translator and developer; Ackuna is only a facilitator for this process. Any payments or other compensation for work are to be handled privately, outside of the Ackuna website.
Because these are private agreements, Ackuna does not arbitrate, is not responsible for, and makes no guarantees on behalf of, the translator or developer.
If you want to add a translation for another user's text, go to the project overview, find the segment you want to translate, and click the button for whichever language you want to translate. (Languages that already have an accepted translation for any given segment will have a symbol next to them.)
On the segment page, view the other translations. If another translator has submitted an accurate translation, simply vote it up. Your work is done! If another translator has submitted an almost-accurate translation, add a comment and tell him how he can improve his answer. If no accurate translations have been submitted, scroll to the bottom of the page and find the "Submit a Translation" section (you must be logged in). Enter your translation and click the Translate button.
If a translator has added an almost-accurate translation and you'd like to give him feedback, or if you need a clarification on a project's requirements, you can add a comment to project segments and translations.
In the appropriate section, click "Add a comment" and fill out the drop-down form to post your comment.
If you want to receive an email alert every time a new project is added that you can help translate, the first thing you need to do is select which languages you know.
Go to the account settings page and scroll to the bottom. Scroll through the list of checkboxes and select each language you speak fluently.
Next, beneath the language options, there is a checkbox labeled "Receive email notifications about new projects." Check this box and press the Edit my account button to save your changes.
Now, whenver a project is created that matches at least two of the languages you speak, you will receive a notice by email inviting you to help translate it.
If you no longer wish to receive new project email alerts, go to the account settings page and scroll to the bottom. Find the checkbox labeled "Receive email notifications about new projects" and uncheck it. Press the Edit my account button to save your changes.
You should now no longer receive alerts when new projects are added that match your language settings.
Translators who have a reputation of 1,000 or higher will earn the professional badge, which entitles them to work private projects and be paid for their work!
If you meet the qualifications and have received a notice that you are eligible to work on private projects, in order to work on these projects and earn money we will need to have some additional information on file. On the settings page, you must check the "I want to translate paid projects" box at the bottom of the page. Once selected, a Payment Settings form should appear below. Select your preferred payment method* and enter additional information in the field below.
Once we have this information on file, you will receive notices of new, private projects when they are available, and each time a developer submits a payment we will be able to transfer it to whatever billing account we have on file for you!
* Ackuna currently only accepts PayPal as a payment option for translators.
In addition to keeping track of your reputation on the site, you can view feedback (in the form of up- and downvotes on your translations) from the My Feed page when logged in.
We transcribe both audio and video files. We transcribe any material that can be transcribed.
However, just to give you an idea, here are a few types of transcription services offered by us:
Yes. If you are unable to upload your files due to whatever reasons, please contact us 800-790-3680 or firstname.lastname@example.org and we will send you alternate upload methods.
You will receive a confirmation from us for your order within 24 hours of placing it. It will mention your order number as well as the date that you can expect your transcripts based on your chosen package.
We will inform you if there are any problems with downloading the files or audio quality, etc.
No. We accept only digital files at this point in time, please upload via our website.
We currently accept AIF, AIFF, AMR, AVI, DSS, DVD, DVF, FLV, M4A, MOV, MP2, MP3, MP4, MPEG, MPG, MSV, QTFF, RM, WAV, WMV and VOB.
Please contact us if you find that your file format is not mentioned in the above list and we will email you either how to convert to a suitable format or alternate upload methods.
The characteristics of a difficult audio file include background noise, static on recordings, more than three speakers with identification of each speaker being required, lots of voice overlapping, lots of technical jargon involving extensive research, faint audio recordings, strong accents, nonnative English speakers, very fast speech. If you have one or more of these present in your audio, it is pretty much guaranteed to be difficult audio. Difficult audio files can be transcribed, but it takes double or more the effort and time to transcribe them.
When you request time stamp / time code service on your transcript, we will insert visible timestamps in your transcript at the beginning of the audio and approximately every 1 minute thereafter.
Yes, we charge an additional $0.25 per minute of audio/video for inserting time stamp/time code in the transcript.
Any order of more than 30 hours of audio/video is considered as a bulk order. The delivery of transcripts for bulk orders will be longer than the regular order. Please contact us if you have a bulk order and we can work out the details of turn around time.
Yes we do. If you have regular webinars or podcasts, for example, or if you have a bulk amount of files that need transcribing in one go, we can negotiate a discounted price. Drop us a call or an email to discuss.
Yes, you can have access to your transcripts for virtually unlimited time upon request via email.
Yes. Our standard policy is that all commercial breaks, music etc. from the audio will not be transcribed.
Yes, we can help you with the conversion. Please contact us with the details of your audio/video and we will email you as to what can be done.
Yes, please note that Ackuna has a file size limit of 1 gig. If your files are of a larger size, you may enter a URL to point us to a web address. Or feel free to contact us and we will email you as to how you can send us your files using alternate modes.
No, we do not offer a free trial at the moment. Although you can make a minimal order of a 1-minute transcription and see how you like its quality.
Yes, you can consider audio duration to be a dead space only when it runs for a minimum of one minute or more continuously.
The time taken to transcribe an audio depends on the number of words typed. The time taken to type out a dictation/audio which has very fast speaker/speakers on it will be much more than the average.
Yes, an audio where the speaker/speakers is/are very fast would be rated as difficult audio.
Not at all, but we charge slightly more for these types of transcript. By sending us a sample of the audio or video, we can give you an exact quote for your project.
If you require, we can 'clean up' speakers' language to correct grammatical errors, remove hesitations or repetitions or overuse of phrases such as “right”, “you know?” and “like”. Alternatively, where these might be important, we can provide a verbatim transcript including all hesitations, implied emotions and so on.
Yes, we charge an additional fee per minute of audio/video, which fall under the difficult audio category. The fees are estimated depending on the level of difficulty.
You can help us provide you with affordable, accurate transcripts by sending us clear audio recordings. Here are some of the most important points:
- Record your audio in a quiet place. Background music, silverware, street noise, air conditioners, and icemakers can make transcription more challenging.
- Use an external microphone to capture voices more clearly.
- If possible, if you have several people speaking in your audio, have them introduce themselves by name.
Any audio/video, which has more than three speakers, is considered to be difficult and hence we charge an additional fee per minute of audio/video. However, we do not charge additional amount if you do not require identification of the speakers on an individual basis.
We identify speakers as interviewer, interviewee, male speaker, female speaker, etc. with numbers added to distinguish if there is more than one similar speaker. If you require any particular method of identification, you are welcome to send us the details and we will incorporate them in the transcript.
We send you transcripts in Microsoft Word format so that you can make quick edits yourself. If you need extensive changes (which doesn't usually happen), please contact us.
Our payment gateway is integrated with PayPal. You can make your payment using a credit card, a debit card or a PayPal account.
Yes, we do offer postpaid services too. Please contact us to request more information about this.
Ours is a prepaid service. Hence, payment will have to be made at the time of placing the order.
No, turn around does not include weekends and holidays; it is counted in business days.
Completed transcripts are delivered via email.
The transcript is delivered as a MS Word document by default. However, if you require we could also deliver them in one of the following formats, namely, TXT, HTML, DOC, PDF or RTF. This will however have to be specified by you either via email or in the Comments or requests section at the time of placing the order.
Even if your audio meets our minimum quality standards, audio with heavy accents, background noise, and/or highly obscure or technical content may take longer to transcribe and edit.
Yes, we can provide signed W9 forms.
Yes, we do sign non-disclosure agreements with people who request it. We have a regular non-disclosure/confidentiality agreement. Upon request, we will email the same to you. If this meets with your approval, we will send you a signed and scanned copy of the same via email.
No, we do not certify the transcripts.
All the employees of Ackuna are bound by a NONDISCLOSURE/CONFIDENTIALITY AGREEMENT to help protect the privacy of the customers. The company also signs a NONDISCLOSURE AGREEMENT with the customer if requested.
The transcripts are search engine protected and not exposed to any search engine crawls.
Yes, we do. We transcribe to or from around 90 languages! Contact us to get a quote. Fees may vary depending on a language.
Our English transcriptionists are based in the United States and are native English speakers.
We do have transcriptionists outside of the United States to transcribe to/from other than English languages.
Yes. Our parent company Translation Cloud offers all kind of translation and localization services:
- Document translation
- Website translation
- Software localization
- Videogames translation
- And many more!
- We support over 90 languages.
Additionally we can convert audio or video files into handouts, illustrated brochures, whitepapers etc. Just let us know what you're interested in.