A new website is making it easier for Americans to get the local scoop on international destinations. Webflakes, launched in May, uses its growing team of volunteers (currently at around 200) to translate foreign blogs into English, a major boon to anyone who’s ever been frustrated at the lack of English-language, international posts in the blogosphere.
The site compiles posts from over 60 hand-selected bloggers who hail from France, Italy, Japan, Spain, Argentina, Peru, and Switzerland. That list of bloggers and home-countries is set to grow, with German and Chinese blogs predicted for the near future. The posts cover traditional lifestyle topics including travel, design, architecture, relationships, fashion, wine, and food & dining.
Vetted translators—many of whom are actually professional translators—read through the posts and translate them into English. An initial translator’s work is then reviewed by a second translator to ensure that the English post matches the feel of the original text.
What’s the incentive? Webflakes donates $1 for every 500 words translated to one of eight charities that it has partnered with (the translator picks which one). There’s also a gameification spin to translating: Converting more posts into English results in “badges,” (like receiving the title “Guru” for your language), and an extra-well translated post can result in “shoutouts” from impressed readers.
Peter Schlesinger is a Research Assistant at Travel + Leisure and part of the Trip Doctor news team.