Frequently Asked Questions

What is Mechanical Turk?

Mechanical Turk is a service created by Amazon.com that allows people like us to post short tasks online, and allows people like you to get paid to complete them. Amazon keeps track of how much you've worked and how much money you've earned, so you can fully trust that you will receive your money in a timely manner. See the Mechanical Turk homepage for more information.

How much money will I make per hour?

We pay a fixed amount per snippet translated, so hourly earnings will vary from person to person. Keep in mind that as you gain experience, you will be able to produce translations at a faster speed, and earn even more money.

How much can I work?

You can work as much or as little as you want, whenever you want. As long as you continue to do good work, there is no maximum number of snippets that you can translate per day. There is also no minimum number of snippets required to stay eligible.

How do I get paid?

Since you will be working through Mechanical Turk, Amazon.com handles all of the payments. Once you've started earning money, you can transfer it directly into your bank account using your Mechanical Turk profile. If you do not have a bank account, Amazon allows you to withdraw your earnings as an Amazon.com gift card. Please see Amazon's Mechanical Turk FAQ for more information.

Do I need professional translation experience?

No, most of our translators have no professional translation experience. Written fluency in both Chinese and English is all that is required.

What are you using my translations for?

Your translations will be used to help train a new automated translation system. However, unlike existing systems, our system is specifically designed to translate the types of informal posts that you'd see on social media sites and online discussion forums.

Where do the snippets come from?

All of the text that you'll be translating are public postings from social media sites and discussion forums, such as Twitter and Weibo.

What kind of translations are you looking for?

The most important thing is that the translations fully preserve the original meaning of the sentence, so that the automated system can accurately learn from them. The translations should also be grammatically correct and fluent in English, but they do not need to be "beautifully written" as if they were intended for a human. Let's look at an example.

Here is the type of snippet which we would ask you to translate:


Here is a good translation of that sentence:


Here's another translation that we would also consider good:


We understand that some things, like personal pronouns ("he", "she", "it") are very hard to translate accurately because they do not appear in the original Chinese. In this case, just do your best based on the information that you have.


Questions? Comments? Please Contact: chinese.mturk@gmail.com