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This Week’s Best In Beta: Setlr – Because Everyone Knows When Your Translation Isn’t Human

This Week’s Best In Beta

Which startup is going to be the next big thing? Investors, bloggers, job seekers, and inspiring entrepreneurs everywhere are dying to know. Hundreds of startups enter private beta each month, and that’s far too many for any one person to keep up with. Fret not! Each week, I share some of the hottest new startups in this column, Best In Beta. Let’s discover the next big thing together!



translation landing


Sorry, tech whizzes, but there’s no substitute for another human when it comes to translation. Until you can show me a program that exploits and understands the nuances of languages with the same dexterity as the writers of Arrested Development, I’m going to hold to this belief.


Aaaaaand because I’m so certain that day is never going to come, I’ll put my stock in the likes of Setlr, a new translation service that connects people who need translating done with affordable human translators.


To back up for a second, I think there are a number of remarkable tools for quick translations of documents, restaurant menus, words. These can give you basic meanings and the gist of language with remarkable accuracy. Fluent language, colloquial language – another story. When you need something to be right, to sound natural in another tongue, you need a human translator.


So (I’m down from my soapbox now, I promise), Setlr has a brilliant business model. You, in need of translating, post your project and Setlr’s pairing engine matches your work with the most suitable human translator. This person could be anywhere in the world, so is online and ready for action, and available to ask questions. Receive your work back, available for download, as soon as it’s ready.


Back just a couple months ago, when I was applying for permanent residency in Argentina, I had to read and translate a ton of documents. I needed to know exactly what webpages were asking for to avoid huge delays in the process. My Spanish wasn’t quite good enough for the job, but the time and cost required to hire a traditional translator didn’t make sense either.


Setlr would’ve been perfect for me. Job done immediately, on demand, at a reasonable rate of £.04 a word.


Umm, web entrepreneurs. Please heed this advice from someone who has looked at thousands and thousands of websites with a critical eye the last few years. DIY translation of your pages – anything less than translation by a native speaker – is a bad bad idea. Not good enough. You’re losing credibility and customers.


I know you’re bootstrapping and trying to save bucks, but have those pages, emails and advertisements translated by a capable human, please! The minor investment for services at Setlr is well worth it if you’re serious about expanding into foreign markets.


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Photo Credits

Setlr | StockCube/Shutterstock | Creativa Images/Shutterstock

Author : Keith Liles

Keith Liles is a freelance writer who loves travel, music, wine, hiking, poetry, and just about everything. He practices saying "yes" to life vigorously, rehearsing for the phone call when he's asked to tour with Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band. Follow Keith on Twitter @KPLiles.

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