A Silicon Valley startup that provides translation services to ecommerce companies wanting to develop virtual stores for foreign markets, is trying to build strategic and financial alliances in Europe.
Etranslate already has investors in the US and Japan and has just raised $8 million in a second round of funding, but is looking to Europe to provide it with "the third pillar" of its international strategy.
A spokesman said: "We foresee that the Internet will soon become the first great multilingual medium. Through their Web sites, companies can now communicate with tens of millions of Internet users around the world in their native languages."
He added that thanks to the Internet, etranslate now has access to specialist translators that live in the country where a given language is spoken. It has also just acquired five year old translation service, Aleph, and its network of more than 6,000 language professionals in 80 countries.
The firm's Globalweb system can undertake both the static and dynamic translation of Web sites. And Web developers do not need to standardise on a single, proprietary multilingual content management tool because all HTML files pass through a Java based text parsing module, which reduces content to a text file without tags.
This speeds up the translation process and eliminates bottlenecks that are introduced by formatting disparate software systems. The translated text then passes back through the parser module to produce the final HTML files.
Unlike proprietary multilingual content management systems, etranslate claims that Globalweb is compatible with other content management applications, including inhouse systems and offerings by Adobe, Broadvision, Commerceone, Lotus Notes and Microsoft.
It also includes a project management system that can provide online translation cost estimates for documents and Web sites.
A recent IDC study indicated that more than 50 per cent of Internet users are now non native English speakers, while Forrester Research says that users stay twice as long at, and are three times as likely to make a purchase from, a Web site that displays content in their first language.
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