SpeakLike Blog

Zynga localizes their newest social game, CityVille, and the results are huge
December 16th, 2010 by admin

Just like FarmVille and FrontierVille, Zynga’s newest game, CityVille, has experienced substantial growth in a very short period. But this game is different: unlike it’s two predecessors, CityVille is Zynga’s first game to launch internationally. And it’s Zynga’s biggest launch yet. Available in five languages (English, Spanish, French, Italian, and German), CityVille has opened their gates to a global audience without the need for individual localization.


This has been key to CityVille’s jaw-dropping growth: in it’s first 24 hours, CityVille already had 290 thousand players, almost triple what FrontierVille launched to. Go back to Dec. 13, and the game already had 22 million monthly players (that makes it the second largest city in the world). Come back to today, and CityVille now serves 26 million monthly active users. It reached this number in two weeks. FrontierVille, on the other hand, took eight weeks to reach that mark.

Inside Social Games estimates that Americans only account for a quarter of CityVille gamers, meaning most of this growth is coming abroad. But why did Zynga focus solely on European countries? Simple: European countries are easier to monetize (players more likely to pay to play) than say Asian countries, where a game like this would be an instant hit. In addition, that region of the world not only has a lot more languages to translate, but the added challenge of localizing cultural customs.

Zynga is currently working on FarmVille in Japan, their second game to be localized for an audience abroad.

Posted in Language Translation, Localization, Social Gaming | Tags: CityVille, FarmVille, FrontierVille, Localization, Social Gaming, Zynga

Survey Says: Website Localization Makes the Difference
December 2nd, 2010 by admin

Common Sense Advisory, a research and consulting firm that provides independent research to help companies profitably grow their businesses across borders, languages and cultures, recently published their December 2010 report, Gaining Global Web Presence. One of the most important sections discussed the relationship between website localization, converting sales, and why, where, and when visitors leave their websites. The data, based on an eight-country survey of more than 2,400 consumers, focused on their preferences for buying in English or in their native language, having products supported in one or the other language, and why they decided to leave websites.

Key Takeaways:

People who buy online need to provide personal details and their payment info. If a site’s data form isn’t formatted for their country, they may encounter problems like including their phone number or postal code. If the structure or function of the site isn’t translated correctly, problems can arise on the back-end, such as finding out the site won’t ship to their country or accept their credit card.

Global online consumers don’t have the accessibility of a store clerk or salesman like they would in a store. Their only means of finding more information about the questions they have is to search your website. A poor website translation will be confusing and hard to deal with, leading those users away from your site and on to another.

“People won’t buy what they can’t understand. And they can’t buy if you haven’t enabled transactions supporting local buying practices and credit cards.” – Don DePalma, Chief Strategy Officer and Founder of Common Sense Advisory.

To read a full summary of the section, “Going from Simple Translation to Successful Transactions on Global Websites,” go ahead and click this link.

Posted in Website Localization | Tags: common sense advisory, human translation, Language Translation, SpeakLike, Website Localization

Website Localization: Why you should be using SpeakLike
November 18th, 2010 by admin

There are many reasons why SpeakLike should be your central translation hub for website localization. Hiring your own translators or working with traditional language service providers produces significant project overhead. You just spend too much time on administrating and micro-managing translations.

Machine translations, on the other hand, are free, and not having to deal with other people or companies can save you from a lot of headaches. So why shouldn’t you take the easy route and let Google do its thing? It sounds great right? Well, not exactly.

To begin with, it’s a known fact that human translation is more accurate and provides a higher quality of translation than machines. As you can see from the examples, machine translations are more literal and done word-by-word, while SpeakLike’s human translators look at the message as a whole, figuring out the meaning of the message before translating it.

A more troubling issue, and one that is less known, is the effects of automated translation tools creating auto-generated content. Because of the poor quality of automatic translations, a website built on translated auto-generated content gives very limited value to users. Sending users to a poorly translated page is not what a search engine wants. And in Google’s case, it’s even against their Webmaster Guidelines.

Here’s a revealing quote from Google’s Webmaster Trends Analyst, John Mueller:

“In general, when we determine that a page contains only auto-generated content, we may remove it from our index. If we determine that the largest part of a site consists of auto-generated content (such as when it’s automatically translated and crawled & indexed like that for several languages), then we may opt to remove the whole site from the index. This may sound a bit harsh, but auto-generated content that is created for search engines is a really bad idea and a waste of our resources.”

For all of those reasons and more, SpeakLike stands out as the leader in translation services, promising fast, quality, and effective language translation. Our 6,000-person team of translators are available whenever you need them, letting you decide your schedule. Our 24/7 self-service access to the translation interface eliminates wait times, redundancies, micromanagement, and administrative burdens, allowing employees to maximize their ability to engage in higher value activities. And our suite of products, including an iPhone Photo Translator, a self-service tool for translating websites, software, or app content, and connectors for WordPress, Twitter, and your API, leaves you in good hands with whatever you’re looking to do.

Posted in About SpeakLike, Website Localization, Why Use SpeakLike? | Tags: Google, Google Translate, Language Translation, SpeakLike, Website Localization

We’re Hiring!
August 18th, 2010 by admin

As you can imagine, the market for translation is growing rapidly and we’re experiencing surging client interest from around the world. We are excited to expand our team, and we would love you to be part of it!

We’re looking to hire:

Lead Java Software Engineer
Internet & Social Media Marketing Intern
Learn more and apply: Here

Posted in Uncategorized

Where in the World is SpeakLike?!
August 17th, 2010 by admin

As you can imagine, we’re passionate about translation. Being able to offer fast and quality translation into 38 languages means we cover virtually all regions of the world. We recently mapped out where in the world you can hear one of SpeakLike’s languages. Take a look below! If you think we’re missing a language or should add a new one, go ahead and email us at [email protected] – we’ll do our best to add your suggestion!

View Where in the World is SpeakLike?! in a larger map

Posted in Uncategorized

Rewiring the World of Translation
July 26th, 2010 by admin

At SpeakLike, we’re huge fans of TED talks and are especially inspired by Ethan Zuckerman’s recent presentation at TED Global. Ethan makes a compelling argument that the internet is incredibly segmented by culture and language. Ethan also makes clear that there needs to be a better way to organize and facilitate on-demand human translation. Since 2008, SpeakLike has been building a community of thousands of qualified native speakers from around the world (with hundreds joining weekly). SpeakLike merges human capacity with it’s advanced crowdsourcing platform, facilitating on-demand translation into 37 languages. At SpeakLike, we consider ourselves a sort of human translation curator, empowering native speakers to translate all content fit for print. Our ultimate goal is to facilitate communication in any language.

Some interesting points in the presentation:

The top four represented countries on Twitter are US, Japan, Brazil, and India.
Chinese is the most represented language on the internet (over 400 million users).
Parts of the world are systematically disconnected (compelling visualization of flight paths).
Imaginary cosmopolitanism: The web connects the globe, but most of us end up hearing mainly from people just like ourselves. To that end, online media is not necessarily helping diversify content bias (ex. most Wikipedia articles are geo-tagged in US).
Global Voices – An international community of bloggers who report on blogs and citizen media from around the world.
Machine translation (ex. Google Translate) is good but not good enough. There needs to be a way to organize and facilitate human translation on a cue.

Posted in Blog Translation, Crowdsourcing

Achieving Successful Multi-Language Healthcare Engagement.
July 23rd, 2010 by admin

We recently sat down with Daniel Ghinn, a leading expert in healthcare innovation, to discuss the role language translation plays in healthcare. In a previous article, Daniel explains the growing digital healthcare divide – arguing that although more people around the world have access to the internet, the majority of health related content is still in English. Seeing the rapid uptake of online health information gathering, self-diagnosis resources, enclaves for wellness related communities, and improvements in telemedicine, SpeakLike is dedicated to facilitating health content information sharing across all languages.

In fact, SpeakLike already removes language as a barrier for a major provider of radiology imaging software, PETLinQ. Our instant chat translation capabilities allow more than 71,000 doctors to collaborate easily across multiple languages, increasing the speed and quality of PETLingQ’s service. With SpeakLike’s translation WordPress Plug-In and easy to implement Human Translation API, we hope to facilitate even more health-related information sharing in the near future.

At SpeakLike, we’re convinced that the health industry has tremendous innovation capacity for handling multi-lingual communication — after all, health is a universal language.

Posted in Crowdsourcing, Email Translation, In the News

New Languages
June 2nd, 2010 by pguiney

We’ve added two new languages recently: Finnish and Vietnamese!

More languages to come, so stay tuned.

Posted in About SpeakLike

The Perils of MT “Chinglish” in The New York Times
May 6th, 2010 by pguiney

The New York Times highlighted some hilarious examples of “Chinglish” recently.

Posted in In the News, Machine Translation

A Translation Tool for WordPress Bloggers
May 2nd, 2010 by pguiney

Attention WordPress bloggers: We teamed up with Worldwide Lexicon to create a plugin that allows you to translate your blog into up to 35 languages.

The plugin gives you the option of SpeakLike business-quality translation, community translation performed by blog readers, and machine translation. You’ll be able to set various preferences and controls; for example, you can temporarily show a machine translation of a blog entry while waiting for the SpeakLike translation to be completed.

Once you’ve installed the WordPress plugin, enter your SpeakLike account information to give your readers access to your blog in their own language. Everything else is automated.

The plugin is free. Download it here and start blogging to the entire world!