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Language Weaver Forecasts $67.5 Billion Digital Translation Market

September 16, 2008

Language Weaver, a provider of automated language translation services, has announced it is entering three new commercial markets to extend its focus and become a “human communications solution company”.
As per the latest announcement, the company will focus on the massive volumes of digital content in Web Content, Business Intelligence, and Customer Care markets as well as continue o provide services for the government sector.
Noting research done by Common Sense Advisory, the company says the translation market is estimated at $14 billion today. And with their ability to dramatically lower costs because they offer automated translation powered by statistical algorticms instead of conventional rules-based methods, they claim an untapped market is out there worth more than $67.5 billion.

Language Weaver has also announced that Babylon Ltd., a provider of single-click translation and dictionary software deployed the Language Weaver offering to power its online consumer translation solution.
I caught up with Mark Tapling, CEO of Language Weaver to find out more.
What are some of the new markets you're moving into with this latest announcement?
Language Weaver is entering the three new strategic markets – Customer Care ,Web/Community Content, and Business Intelligence– based on Language Weaver’s proven ability to deliver quality communications through high-volume, high-speed, and accurate automated translation solutions for digital content, at a price that would have been unfathomable just a few years ago.
What led to the move?
Conventional language translation services are typically priced at 21 cents per word, leaving mountains of digital content untranslated.  Language Weaver is able to provide an automated communication solution that dependably conveys meaning for applications with continuously high volumes of content that require speed, and accuracy.
As a result, Language Weaver’s industry-changing translation solutions have created entirely new, untapped commercial solution markets because we’ve lowered the cost of quality translation so dramatically.
How can software translation be used for CRM?  Can you also talk a little about how it can be leveraged for BI and Web content?
Language Weaver’s solutions for Customer Care are a key part of an organizations market communication strategy. These applications can be a force multiplier in an organizations CRM strategy. Whether the objective was to approach, cross sell, upsell, or resolve relationship management issues, communications are the start to a successful initiative. Communicating with targeted audiences in their desired language significantly improves CRM initiatives.
For BI, Language Weaver delivers a solution that enables end-users to translate all information, regardless of the language. That data, once in a common language, can be analyzed and acted upon. In a business market place, where a significant amount of corporate revenues are being realized outside an organization’s country of domestic headquarters, it is more important than ever to measure and analyze how products are being received in local markets. Market research and intelligence are 2 areas we see a lot of interest for this type of solution.  We are currently partnering with SPSS to deliver an integrated, multilingual BI/Predictive analytics solution.
For Web content, the company is focusing on community generated content, also referred to at User Generated Content. This information often includes user reviews of products and services. Because this content shapes the way people around the world make decisions, companies and Web properties are interested in providing community generated content in several languages so they are able to reach a  wider audience in a shorter amount of time and at a fraction of the cost of generating new communities and new content.
How is your product helping to improve communications and meet the needs of today's global users?
The business world is getting flatter and translation is being pushed down the organizational chart -- line managers are expected to make operating decisions with information that was created in a different language. It is becoming a necessity for everyone within global organizations to communicate across languages effectively. The digital content revolution is compounding this problem as the amount of digital grows. As a result, Language Weaver is verifying a huge market potential with commercial solutions, and is now helping companies translate volumes of data quickly and accurately in a variety of applications.
Can you speak a little about the difference between your translation offerings and conventional methods?
Language Weaver's translations are powered by statistically-based computer algorithms instead of traditional linguistic rules. This methodology allows Language Weaver to develop and improve translation systems at a significantly faster rate, and the output is more fluent and natural sounding because the software learns to translate from examples of human translation rather than relying on hand-crafted linguistic rules. Importantly, these systems can be “trained” to perform at a level of domain expertise where they can liberate content directly to our customer’s target audience.
With conventional language translation services, quality has historically been measured by the defect rate. However, the digital world consists of extremely fluid content with no limits to volume. The end-goal of translation in the digital world is not merely to minimize defect rates, but to convey meaning – quickly, accurately, and at high volumes – with a strategic business purpose in mind. 
How is your offering changing the price barrier?
With technological advances pioneered by software translation leader, Language Weaver, the cost of translation has dropped from 21 cents a word to less than one-hundredth of one cent per word. Suddenly, it becomes cost-effective to translate the terabytes of digital content that are continuously being generated in today’s digital world – and to monetize that content in entirely new ways.
The size of the translation market today is estimated at $14 billion according to research and consulting firm Common Sense Advisory. Because of the dramatically lower costs that automated translation technology enables, Language Weaver estimates that untapped markets total more than $67.5 billion.    
Will this announcement increase acceptance and adoption of translation as we know it?
The last remaining barrier to true, universal, global communication is language itself. The fact is, not everyone communicates in English. And just as technological advances – from the telegraph to the Internet – have broken through previous barriers to communication, technology is tearing down this final wall as well. 
The technology is now at a tipping point in terms of maturity. This will be an interesting space to watch as next-gen translation solutions - and applications that use them – continue rolling out with the potentially to liberate and monetize decades of both existing and future digital content for entirely new markets, audiences, and customers.
In the end, everyone wants to communicate, but only a few want to translate.
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Stefania Viscusi is an assignment editor for ContactCenterSolutions, covering VoIP, CRM, call center and wireless technologies. To read more of Stefania’s articles, please visit her columnist page.

Edited by Stefania Viscusi