Thursday, July 28, 2011

Smartling: Crowdsourced Post-Editing at its Finest

Technology is only as good as its designers and its users. How good are the crowdsourced post-editing (CPE) companies scooping up venture capital in Silicon Valley? Well… It appears to be getting easier and easier to capitalize on the social media bubble to score some easy VC cash. A company called Smartling recently raised 10 million cool ones “to ramp up its localization tools.” The investors include “U.S. Venture Partners, Venrock and First Round Capital,” which “have all chipped in for the series B funding round and are joined by IDG Ventures.”

The company hits all the trendy buzzwords (crowdsourcing free translations from users, MT, social media clients, etc.):
Smartling, which counts Foursquare, Scribd, IMVU and SurveyMonkey among its customers, offers a way for websites and apps to quickly and easily add additional language support. Customers can rely on machine language translation tools provided through Google or Microsoft, or they can use Smartling to hire professional translators to localize their products. But Smartling’s real power comes in its software platform, which allows a publisher to recruit its own user community to help take a site multilingual.
However, a peek at the company’s localized Spanish website might lead a couple of investors to cancel those big fat checks. This cutting edge start-up can’t seem to decide which language its website is in:

Spanglish-Englanish translation?

Perhaps this scrappy dotcom can invest the venture capital moolah in hiring some professional translators.

Miguel Llorens
 is a freelance financial translator based in Madrid who works from Spanish into English. He is specialized in equity research, economics, accounting, and investment strategy. He has worked as a translator for Goldman Sachs, the US Government's Open Source Center, several small-and-medium-sized brokerages, asset management institutions based in Spain, and H.B.O. International. To contact him, visit his website and write to the address listed there. You can also join his LinkedIn network or follow him on Twitter.

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