LionBridge and IBM team up to develop real-time translation

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LionBridge and IBM (NYSE: IBM) have gotten together to develop more accurate real-time translation technology. The deal combines LionBridge's SaaS translation service with IBM's Real Time Translation Service (RTTS). Further, under the agreement, LionBridge gets preferred translation vendor status in IBM products and services--no small thing I'm sure.

RTTS has been used internally at IBM to translate services like chat, blog posts and emails on the fly across the multinational corporation where everyone might not speak a common language. IBM claims upward of 40,00 internal RTTS users. They say the service translates instantly and accurately, although so far automated language translation services have proven spotty at best, especially when it comes to translating cultural sayings and idioms (sometimes in comical ways).

The fact that you have a technology powerhouse like IBM teaming with a firm dedicated to translation is significant and it could help push the technology forward. The combined product will be packaged and delivered on LionBridge's Geoworkz.com platform. Customers will be able to use the service under a subscription plan.

Nigel Wright, Global Chief of Technical Data Services, Rolls-Royce plc. said that having access to this type of on-the-fly translation service is growing increasingly important in today's global market. "As a global organization with customers, employees and partners around the world, we understand the challenge of communicating instantaneously and effectively across cultures, language and the business landscape," Wright said.

Translation is tricky with cultural nuances that make it difficult to translate meaning accurately, especially when using a machine to do it. If these two companies can pull this off, it could be a huge leap forward for automated translation technology.

For more information:
- see the LionBridge press release.

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