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Translation, a well-placed friend at Google tells me, is the next frontier after search. When you search Google today, think about all the non-English pages the search king doesn’t show you. As we plug our devices and ourselves into a global network, we’ll want to understand each other on a scale never before imagined. It’s been estimated that only half of all tweets are in English.
For bloggers, Speaklike’s human-powered translation is probably the best quality available. But at six cents a word per translation into each language, a prolific blogger can run up a bill. Mojofiti, a Denver-based startup with undisclosed angel funding, offers a cheaper form of translation powered by Google’s translation API.
Like Speaklike, Mojofiti is built around a plug-in for the popular WordPress blogging system used by VentureBeat and The New York Times. But instead of connecting to a human freelancer who performs the translation, Mojofiti runs the page through Google.
Brian Solis, Web 2.0 pundit, photographer and man about town, provided his entire blog to Mojofiti as test content. Click one of the flags on the left-hand side of Solis’ posts to translate into 28 other languages. Had Solis used Speaklike, his latest post alone, at 1,147 words, would have cost $68.82 to translate to one other language, or $1,926.96 to convert into all 28 other languages supported by Mojofiti.
Solis told me, “To assume that everyone should read English is limiting in its appeal, scope and relevance. I’m always pleasantly surprised to hear that many of the readers reside all over the world.”
For some of us, just being read is enough. For others, there are whole new markets of customers out there. It’s likely that some combination of machine translation and human editing will make them — and their money — reachable.
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