As you might have noticed, I did not write a post yesterday though the goal was to write one article a day. Well, I think I have kind of an excuse: I had a slipped disk and did not really feel to do anything that day. Luckily acupuncture and some herbal infusions brought me back to (almost) normal life which means you get a new post today!
Before I get back to talking about the future of making a living as an online teacher, I have two interesting items on the agenda I would like to write about. The first one is the rise of online translation services.
As you might have noticed in the sidebar, this week’s EDUKWEST and therefore KirstenWinkler.com sponsor is Transfluent. If you followed this blog and the EDUKWEST interview series the founder Jani Penttinen might be a familiar entrepreneur to you. He started out with Xiha Life, the first social network for language lovers which allowed you to post in your native language and get instant translation of the status updates from your friends on the network or on Facebook, a feature that is now also integrated in the Facebook stream.
Though the network had got some decent traction, it was difficult to find a monetization model for it. On the other hand, Jani got more and more questions from business owners who wanted to get their own branded version of the site. This was the birth of PremiumFanPage, a service that translated websites and social media status updates either through machine translation, human translation or a mix of both.
The next pivotal moment was the (astonishing) fact that nearly all customers opted in for the human translation. They preferred quality over the cheaper automated versions. Hence, at the end of this journey stands Transfluent, a cloud based service that offers rapid translation by a network of professional translators around the globe in near real time.
If you want to learn more about Transfluent, Jani was our guest on review:ed a couple of weeks ago, calling in from Singapore where he signed up new customers to the service.
Now, one innovative startup does not prove that the market is heating up, so let’s give you some more examples.
Babelverse is a startup I have been following for a while now. The concept behind it is crowdsourced real time interpretation for conferences and similar events. The founders took part in the startup program of the Chilean government which included office space and a small investment into the project. In December the team presented at LeWeb and came in third place. You can watch the demo below.
This week Jason Calacanis hosted the LAUNCH Festival in San Francisco and again, we saw two interesting startups in the translation space launching there, Vocre and Tolq.
Vocre is pretty similar to Google’s instant voice translation I have been writing about last year though Vocre’s interface looks more polished and I like that you can put the iPhone or iPad in the middle of the desk and have both sides use it.
Tolq is offering translation services for your website or blog through an integrated API. There are different levels of quality, from machine translation over crowdsourced to expert translation and it the startup is planning to extend the service to documents and emails as well.
The world has become a truly global marketplace and thanks to the emerging powerhouses like Brazil, China and Russia that don’t have English as an official language, it is getting more and more important to have a workforce that is able to communicate in different languages. The same is of course true for your customers who can now come from all over the globe as payment methods and buying power are increasing as well.