Today’s Killer Startup: LipSync
LipSync connects you to Chinese translators for real-time translation.
Why It’s A Killer Startup:
For native speakers of non-tonal languages (like me and probably you, reader) Chinese is a real bitch. The five different tones of Mandarin are confusing enough but when you throw in the fact that every dialect sounds completely different, it can seem like you’ll never learn the language.
Throw in characters instead of an alphabet and it’s game over for most of us.
I know all of this because I studied Chinese – Mandarin, to be specific – for eight years, from the time I was 12 ’til 20, when I finally threw in the towel. At that point I was pretty proficient, able to read simple books and most of the newspaper, but by now my Chinese is hén bù hao. (That’s really bad, for the record. I still remember how to say that, unfortunately.)
So, in anticipation of a pending trip to the Far East, I’m pretty pumped about LipSync to bolster my extremely shabby zhōng wén. The app – which is still in beta but will be launching soon – will connect non-Chinese speakers in China with real human translators to help them get their point across.
Need to explain WTF a vegetarian is in the local restaurant? (“No, I don’t eat chicken!”) Open up the app, submit a request explaining what you need, and get a translation back immediately from one of LipSync’s professional translators.
Boom. No surprise meats on your plate.
Oh and don’t worry about the fact that you’re in some remote part of Guangdong province. LipSync has translators who can deliver in a wide range of dialects and you only pay for each translation as you need it.
The tourist market in China is growing rapidly, with major increases in both outbound and inbound tourism. That means that the need for translation from English to Chinese and vice versa is only going to grow in the coming year. LipSync is ready to be there helping foster communication and help make the whole thing just a little bit easier.
Having trouble with your zhōng wén? @Lipsyncio will hook you up with real-time #Chinese translators!