First Million Coursera Words Translated Into Russian Using Crowdsourcing Platform from ABBYY Language Services

Milpitas, CA, June 27, 2014 --( Participants in the Coursera crowdsourcing project for translation into Russian have reached the milestone of one million words translated. Almost 5,000 volunteers are currently working to translate Coursera lectures into Russian.

The project was launched on March 24, 2014 by ABBYY Language Services, an official language partner of Coursera. The project is also part of the Coursera Global Translation Community of dedicated volunteers, working together to provide translations for Coursera-hosted courses.

Thanks to the project, Russian subtitles are already available at the Coursera website for Inspiring Leadership Through Emotional Intelligence. Another four courses added recently – including Bioinformatics Algorithms, Introduction to Public Speaking, and others – are pending reviewer approval. The subject matter of the courses was so interesting that the project participants translated them in a very short time. The list of courses in English available for translation is updated on a regular basis: among recent additions are such hits as Model Thinking and Functional Programming Principles in Scala.

Ivan Smolnikov, CEO of ABBYY Language Services, said: “Our project is based on a unified cloud environment for translation automation. SmartCAT offers the opportunity to benefit from the most advanced linguistic technology, such as translation memory, terminology quality assurance, and machine translation post-editing, without any special knowledge or training. There is also a dedicated panel for context understanding in the translation editor, in which users can view the video fragments from the lectures they are working on. All this helps our volunteers improve both translation quality and their knowledge of English, opening the way for professional growth.”

Distinguished University Professor Richard E. Boyatzis, Case Western Reserve University and author of the MOOC Inspiring leadership Through Emotional Intelligence, said: “Because of your translation of the subtitles of the videos and the Personal Learning Journal, enrollment from Russia has skyrocketed in my MOOC. I am looking forward to seeing learners enrolled from an IP form the Space Station!”

Since the project’s launch, volunteers have translated the equivalent of 4,000 pages of text, spending more than 6,200 hours on translation.

To take part in the project, simply register at and get started translating right away. Project participants translate, vote, and assess each other’s contributions, earn virtual awards for their achievements, and compete for rankings. Since the launch of the project, over 100,000 votes have already been cast for translations.

Dmitri Chinukhin, one of the project leaders, is enthusiastic about the platform and method: “Participation in this translation project gave me the opportunity not only to listen to courses from the best international universities, but also to give this opportunity to others, and at the same time get a greater grasp of the foreign language. The website platform is easy to use and allows you to quickly join the translation process. Since the courses are at a very high level educationally, you have to improve your knowledge constantly by looking for ‘terms of art’ in different dictionaries. We are lucky to have the all-knowing Internet, enough time to sleep well, and an automated translation system that lets us focus on the interesting parts instead of getting bogged down in the details. Every day it gets more and more interesting. The project team has certainly earned our thanks!”

Elena Oblomova, project participant, shared some of the ways in which translating Coursera has benefited her: “I like that the translations are made by several different people at once. Together we find the best suitable translation, and it helps to upgrade my personal translation skills. The project gave me a chance to try myself as a translator, which was my dream from the early childhood. I feel that translation helps me to dive into the language environment and start thinking in English. Moreover, I started paying more attention to how I express myself in my native Russian!”

“Reaching 1M translated words is a tremendous milestone for the ABBYY Language Services-Coursera translator community,” Eli Bildner, Product Manager for Localization at Coursera, said. “We can't thank our Russian-speaking friends enough for their commitment to making great educational content available across linguistic and geographic borders. To everyone who has participated in this project — and to ABBYY Language Services, for their work in building such a great platform and community — we say thank you, and congratulations!”

Translation of Coursera into Russian is the first crowdsourcing project of such a great scale in Russia. ABBYY Language Services is leveraging the experience gained from the Coursera translation project and use of the SmartCAT multi-access tool to implement a new platform for providing the fastest professional translation in the world.

Learn more about the translation platform and the project on the ABBYY Language Services website.
ABBYY Language Services
Denis Frolov