Has there been a decline in new automated "translation" portal start-ups?
Thread poster: LegalTransform

LegalTransform  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 13:57
Member (2002)
Spanish to English
+ ...
Mar 31, 2017

Having recently come up for air after a series of large and difficult projects, it occurred to me that I have stopped receiving what seemed like an endless stream of emails announcing the launch of new language service ventures involving the use of automated e-commerce portals. Is this model in decline or am I still half asleep from exhaustion?


Jean Lachaud  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 13:57
English to French
+ ...
let us hope Mar 31, 2017

Same here. Let us hope.


Arianne Farah  Identity Verified
Local time: 13:57
Member (2008)
English to French
Ditto Mar 31, 2017


My guess is that few if any managed to turn a profit and financing dried up for those kinds of ventures. I think the companies underestimated the need for client privacy in their model - when you're showing the source text to hundreds or thousands of translators and anyone can sign up - other than user manuals for products already on the market and websites that have already launched in their original language, there's not much you can translate in that manner without seriously compromising privacy and control of the message (exit anything financial, anything marketing, anything in the medical/pharmaceutical field, anything to do with an RFP, anything to do with a patent, anything to do with upcoming whatevers and launches that haven't been made public yet, anything to do with HR and internal communications) - it's a very very limited market.

Most large companies probably also prefer a turnkey solution - they don't want to set up a whole process to save a few pennies on doubtful translations for the few texts that don't need to be private while the other 95% of their translations goes through 1 or 2 trusted LSP - so all those large lucrative contracts aren't available.


Sheila Wilson  Identity Verified
Local time: 18:57
Member (2007)
+ ...
They've certainly gone quiet recently Mar 31, 2017

I can see two possible reasons:

1) They've all closed down as it simply wasn't a viable way of making money (let's hope so).

2) They've found so many "hobby" translators willing to work in the cloud for a few pennies that they've stopped bothering the pros. It would be a shame to think they're happily making money that way, but I wouldn't see it as a threat to our livelihood, as long as we're all positioned towards the top end of the market.


Cem Bekis
English to Turkish
+ ...
Nothing is coincidence Apr 1, 2017

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Has there been a decline in new automated "translation" portal start-ups?

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