Innovation That Matters

Translation service taps the native-speaking crowds

Work & Lifestyle

Language barriers are one of the online world’s most prickly challenges, largely because no single translation solution has yet managed to combine speed, accuracy and low cost. Enter myGengo, a Tokyo-based company that aims to change the way translations are done. Whereas machine translators are notoriously inaccurate and traditional human agencies are often slow and expensive, myGengo taps a global team of pretested translators working from home for a quicker and cheaper solution. The service currently provides just English-Japanese translation, but more languages are coming very soon, the company says. Users of the site begin by typing or pasting the text they want translated into the myGengo site. There are three service levels to choose from: Standard, which is done by a native speaker for basic, informal communication; Pro, which is conducted by business-qualified translators for more critical translations; and Ultra, which provides extra assurance through the use of two quality-checked translators per job. Once the request is made, qualified myGengo translators are alerted through a dedicated portal, and one immediately begins translating. When the job is complete, the user is sent an email with a link to pick up the translated text. Per-word pricing ranges from USD 0.05 for standard translation to USD 0.15 for ultra services; payment is made via PayPal. myGengo keeps its pricing low in part by focusing on short lengths of nonspecialized text, it says, as well as by relying on automated administration and economies of scale through the large numbers of jobs it handles. Next on the company’s list is Spanish, which will launch in the next few weeks. Meanwhile, myGengo is hiring translators around the world through a team of professional ‘Super Workers’ who find and qualify translators in each language. Will myGengo prove to be the solution the translation world has been waiting for? Time will tell. In the meantime, one to watch—and try out! (Related: Real-time IM translationWhile-you-wait editing service.) Spotted by: Ozgur Alaz



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