A number of start-ups are developing online tools to compete with Google Translate.
Some experts predict that learning a foreign language will become unnecessary within the next 10 years as electronic translation programmes become increasingly sophisticated. Here are some of today’s most innovative apps.
Portugal, 2013 // Smart proofreader
Concept / Unbabel can be used to translate thousands of words quickly with its 42,000 translators working around the globe.
How it works / Unbabel’s Smartcheck feature reviews translations and corrects any mistakes made by translators. Businesses can use an Application Programme Interface (API) to translate their documents quickly.
Number of languages /22
Cost / Between €0.04 and €0.05 per word based on volume.
Belgium, 2011 // The network approach
Concept / TextMaster offers translation and proofreading services with the help of freelancers. The start-up has raised €7.4 million since it was founded.
How it works / It manages the translation, correction and proofreading processes through its network of translators.
Number of languages /30
Cost / Between €0.06 and €0.12 per word.
Estonia, 2015 // The DIY approach
Concept /Skuuper offers a way to translate long technical documents. The programme automatically translates the text, then the user checks the terminology and decides on exact wording. The start-up is primarily targeting the legal and medical industries, businesses and media and has so far raised €250,000.
How it works / Skuuper has a translation bank containing 45 million sentences.
Number of languages / 6
Cost / Subscriptions ranging from €2 to €30 per month.
United Kingdom, 2015 // Uber of translation
Concept / Fluently offers translators on demand, asUber does with drivers. The start-up launched its service in March 2016.
How it works / The start-up acts as a marketplace, matching customers from a specific industry with a specialised translator. The applications of listed translators are all carefully reviewed.
Number of languages / 5, with a goal of 20 by the end of 2016.
Cost / The system automatically calculates a job’s cost based on the number of words to be translated, between €0.10 and €0.14 per word.