Statistical Machine Translation Gets Real: A Profile of Language Weaver

Statistical machine translation is an innovative way of automatically translating text from one language into another. It’s being used by Google, it’s being used in Iraq, and it’s being commercialized by a company called Language Weaver.

I profiled this company for the December issue of Global by Design and now we’re making the full article available for free download.

We’re going to be hearing a lot more about this technology and Language Weaver because companies can only afford to translate a fraction of their content using translators. SMT is not designed to put translators out of work but instead unleash vast amounts of content that would never have been translated in the first place.

If you want to get an idea of what SMT can do, what it can’t do, and why I think it’s going to revolutionize the translation industry, check out the article.

download article (2.1MB)

Machine Translation Vendor Scores Funding

Language Weaver, a machine translation (MT) software developer, has announced a $4 million VC infusion. This is just another sign that MT is inching closer to real-world/commercial applications.

Slowly but surely we’re seeing companies make limited use of MT to translate text that would have been cost-prohibitive to translate manually. SDL recently launched such a service.

I’m not suggesting that MT is anywhere near replacing human translators. In fact, the better way to look at MT software is like desktop publishing software – it did not replace designers, but it did give them the tools to help them do their jobs more effeciently.

Here is the full press release:

LANGUAGE WEAVER RAISES $4 MILLION IN SERIES B FUNDING -All major Series A investors reinvest in round led by Palisades Ventures –

LOS ANGELES – Oct. 6, 2004 – Language Weaver, Inc., a Los Angeles-based software company developing statistical machine translation software (SMTS), today announced it has completed the initial closing of its Series B funding round of $4 million. The round was led by Palisades Ventures of Los Angeles.

Palisades Ventures is a venture capital fund making growth stage investments in systems, services, software, and hardware companies driving the adoption of leading edge information technology, communications, and media technologies. Paul D’Addario, senior managing director of Palisades Ventures, will take a seat on the Language Weaver board of directors. “Palisades Ventures invests in companies with strong technologies, proven market traction, and where we can leverage our many strategic relationships in the IT, communications and media sectors for the benefit of our portfolio companies,” D’Addario said. “Language Weaver’s translation technology has immense commercial potential. The company will be well supported by Palisades Ventures with introductions to potential customers and strategic partners as it positions itself in the commercial markets.”

Palisades Ventures first became aware of Language Weaver at LARTA Institute’s Los Angeles Venture Forum in April 2004 where Language Weaver was chosen as start-up company of the year. In addition to Palisades Ventures, all of Language Weaver’s major Series A investors have also chosen to invest in the Series B round, including Sulphur Creek Ventures and Athenaeum Fund.

According to Bryce Benjamin, CEO of Language Weaver, the money will be used to support the company’s entrance into commercial markets. “The obvious first mover for Language Weaver’s technology was the government, where we have now established several contracts and excellent relationships,” Benjamin said. “With this new investment we will grow our team and expand our marketing and sales efforts into the international and domestic commercial markets, which are hundreds of times larger than the government markets and where the need is even greater for high quality language translation.”