Most people who use AI-powered translation tools do so for commonplace, relatively unimportant tasks like understanding a single phrase or quote. Those basic services won’t do for an enterprise offering technical documents in 15 languages — but Lengoo’s custom machine translation models might just do the trick. And with a new $20 million B round, they may be able to build a considerable lead.
The translation business is a big one, in the billions, and isn’t going anywhere. It’s simply too common a task to need to release a document, piece of software or live website in multiple languages — perhaps dozens.
These days that work is done by translation agencies, which employ expert speakers to provide translation on demand at a high level of quality. The rise of machine translation as an everyday tool hasn’t affected them as much as you might think, since the occasional Portuguese user using Google’s built-in webpage translation on a Korean website is very much a niche case, and things like translating social media posts or individual sentences isn’t really something you could or would farm out to professionals.
In these familiar cases, “good enough” is the rule, since the bare meaning is all anyone really wants or needs. But if you’re releasing a product in 10 different markets speaking 10 different languages, it won’t do to have the instructions, warnings, legal agreements or technical documentation perfect in one language and merely fine in the other nine.