Posted by: Kevin Perry | April 22, 2010

Real-Time Translation: Moving from ‘Just in Case’ to ‘Just in Time’

Today is an exciting day for Lionbridge and IBM. We are changing the way the world communicates.  And luckily, I get to be part of this transformative initiative. This partnership will combine IBM’s real time technology with the capabilities of Lionbridge’s Translation Workspace cloud-based language management platform. What does that all mean? As our CEO, Rory Cowan, stated, “when we are through, it truly will be a ‘Smarter Planet’!”

Lionbridge’s sweet spot has been in the complex, large enterprise, and high-quality human translation space. For the longest time, we have seen enormous amounts of content on the web unavailable to customers and communities around the world. And why? Because translation has been largely unaffordable for many applications. While some FREE translation systems on the Web are available, they unfortunately are often unintelligible and certainly unreliable.

This development changes all of this.  And it changes the playing field for our company – and our customers.

This partnership shifts our strategy and accelerates the development and commercialization of automated translation technology. IBM’s real time technology instantly translates content and communications such as web pages, intranets, knowledge bases, documents, IM’s, blogs and emails.  And the Lionbridge cloud-based model can customize the technology to increase quality.  As a multilingual speaker of Japanese (somewhat intelligible) –  I can tell you first hand this is a new beginning for tackling the multilingual communication challenges of tomorrow.

Understandable content available instantly  may be more valuable than delayed content at a premium quality. It seems as if the Translation Industry is at the dawn of the “Good Enuf” Revolution!

Who’s Game?



  1. Kevin – this is, indeed, a most exciting technology innovation! Automating the translation of specific types of content removes the cost/time barriers typically associated with standard localizaiton processes.

    Now, customers have the “best of both worlds” – high quality, human-based localization where applicable, and an automated translation solution for content that does not require the high precision accuracy of standard localization. There will be numerous applications for our new RTTS technology partnership with IBM. I know this will be a “Winner” for our customers!

  2. Kevin, If I want to develop plugins for certain apps for real-time translation in “their own editing mode” – do you have a plain, charged API (rather than a product) which I can wrap around my conceptual idea? In effect, I want to build a business wrapped around your core API for real-time, and have various ideas to that effect. I know how to do the UI, so don’t need Geoworkz, just the API itself.


    • Amit, we do have API’s that can connect with customer applications. Because we offer RTT through a SaaS model, the connection between a client apps and our engine is of high interest. We just signed a beta customer who will be using RTT embedded with their SaaS based application. Offering you the API’s independent of the integration with RTTS is not on the road map. However, the API’s we developed are the means for connecting your content with our engine.

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