HelloTranslate launches, bringing new approach to translation

There’s a new player in the content translation space. And thanks to an innovative new business model, HelloTranslate aims to make content translation more affordable for smaller players. 

Rikkert Engels, owner of data migration platform Xillio, is jumping into the translation space with the launch of HelloTranslate. Available immediately, HelloTranslate brings a new solution for  both clients and LSPs. But the biggest innovation? The platform is available to use free of charge, with revenue being collected instead through a low, one-cent-per-word rate. And it’s all available to use right now. 

According to Engels, most other translation technology solutions break down to three cents per word. So for clients who aren’t big enough or otherwise are a poor fit for existing models, HelloTranslate may offer the ideal solution that fits within a manageable budget. The different approach aims to inject flexibility for small- and medium-sized businesses that may balk at the costs associated with other platforms.

“It’s more accessible, and the tech is all there,” said Engels. “So any LSP can present themselves as a tech-enabled LSP, and there’s no need to build your own.”

Essentially, HelloTranslate is a marketplace. Translation service providers can offer their services, and clients can utilize the service providers that best suit their needs. Within two days at the most, clients and service providers are connected up and ready to get to work. 

Another feature distinguishing HelloTranslate is the translation development kit (TDK). An open-source system, TDK gives clients more flexibility by making the transition from one service to another far easier, given that they’re not constrained by a technical framework. 

“We have about 12 localization tech providers including MemoQ, Translate5, Kaleidoscope, Crosslang, and Flowfit on the marketplace,” Engels said. “So I think we pretty much cover all possible workflows. We have about 93 translation vendors on the marketplace. And we have partnerships with leading CMS providers as Acquia, Drupal, Sitecore, Contentful and AEM to offer seamless integration. So there’s enough to choose from. And with the TDK, it really gives the developers and the clients the ability to integrate translation in for instance the website the way they want.”

What’s more, the TDK reduces the typical time required to add multilingual automation from around 60 work days to two days. Thanks to a unique connectivity solution, clients and LSPs no longer have to understand all the technicalities of each others’ systems. Instead, the TDK  creates a simple application programing interface (API) that includes boilerplate code for NodeJS, Java and C# languages, meaning developers do not need to understand the translation-side logic. It’s another cost savings that can make all the difference.

“We are expecting that HelloTranslate will tap into an entirely new market, as the hosting of multiple websites in different languages is now made available to even smaller companies,” Engels said.

The upshot is that TDK makes everything a little easier. With a website, for instance, the text may convert into the appropriate language. But images and videos? That might not be handled quite so elegantly. 

“A website is a combination of multiple content stores,” Engels said. “And so the whole notion of a single connector into a system is in itself already 1995 thinking, because a website contains multiple systems. So that translation development kit is really ideal for that because then they can determine where to store their content.”

But the ultimate key is simplicity. With no upfront costs, clients and vendors alike have the ability to suss out their exact needs and pay for no more than that. And of course, the HelloTranslate team is always there to help every step of the way. 

“Any LSP can sign up for free. Any localization tech can sign up for free. If there is enough demand from clients, we will help you to build an integration into HelloTranslate. All a localization tech has to do is to built a Tapicc client, the Open source Localization Interoperability Standard controlled by GALA,” Engels said.

Digital agencies stand to particularly gain from the tech, Engels said. Because their focus is not on the mechanics of translation management systems — and they often don’t have the budget to buy them, anyway — HelloTranslate lets them keep their eyes on the business that matters to them.

Engels sees the translation industry is one primed for disruption — and it’s overdue in his opinion. The past four years have been an exercise in well-practiced methodologies, which certainly have their place. But with HelloTranslate, he believes he and his team have a solution that might shake things up by offering “less dependency, less complexity and full control back in the hands of the clients.”

“From the day that I was introduced to the localization industry, I thought: ‘OK, with our connector and middleware knowledge and with our background in digital marketing technology, I feel we have a good shot at disrupting this industry,’” he said.

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Cameron Rasmusson
Cameron Rasmusson is a writer and journalist. His first job out of the University of Montana School of Journalism took him to Sandpoint, Idaho as a staff writer for the Bonner County Daily Bee. Since 2010 he's honed his skills as a writer and reporter, joining the MultiLingual staff as Editor-in-Chief in 2021.

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