Skype Offers a Solution to that Pesky Language Barrier

Skype has for several years now helped people around the world communicate with one another, provided they speak the same language.

Now, you don’t even need to speak the same language.

Skype has partnered up with Language Line to offer on-demand personal interpreters. According to Skype, this “pay-as-you-go service allows quick and easy access highly skilled & certified interpreters in more than 150 languages directly from your Skype phone, for only $2.99 USD per minute. Service is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year.”

Skype promises to connect you to an interpreter in 45 seconds. Now, one hour of small talk is going to cost you — so much in fact that you’d be better off hiring your own interpreter. But for brief calls or for businesses that need to field a lot of different languages, this could be a very nifty service. Skype has put together a handy service that is ideal for small business owners, of which there are plenty.

I’d love to hear from anyone who has tried this new service…

PS: Here are the most-requested languages so far:

Spanish
Mandarin
Russian
Vietnamese
Korean
Cantonese
Portuguese
Polish
French
Japanese

Lionbridge Launches Freeway 2.0 (What happened to 1.0?)

freeway_logo.jpg

Lionbridge today formally launched its new hosted translation memory service: Freeway 2.0.

The press release features glowing testimonials from Sybase, Nikon, and Ryanair. These companies, and roughly 70 others, have been using the “1.0 version” and have been pleased with the results.

No company particularly wants to be a beta tester for new software, so I’m guessing that’s the motivation behind the rapid advance to 2.0. The name also ties in nicely with Lionbridge’s vision of the “Localization 2.0” generation of content globalization that we are now entering.

Are You Certified?

Two certification-related announcements in the localization industry…

SDL has launched a certification program for its products. According to the press release, “SDL TRADOS Certification is a comprehensive program of placement tests, courseware, and multiple-level training exams that will truly test a translator’s ability to work efficiently with translation memory and integrated terminology. It is designed to provide all customers in the global ecosystem with an accurate measure of technology expertise.” You can learn more here.

Also, Nitish Singh of Chico State told me yesterday that the first class for his new localization certificate program is just about full. Not bad given that the program is a good two months away yet! You can learn more here.