Japan’s Conyac launches new platform that turns a website into a multilingual environment

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See the original story in Japanese.

Tokyo-based Anydoor, the startup behind crowdsourced translation platform Conyac, unveiled a new translation platform called Conyac Front in beta last week. The platform allows website owners to turn their sites into multilingual versions using crowdsourced translation forces.

The fee includes a hosting charge (about $100 a month for each language), a translation charge, and other optional charges when needed. The company is inviting monitor users, where up to 20 companies can use the new platform without paying translation and optional charges until December. Anydoor CEO Naoki Yamada says they will start charging for the service next January.

Conyac Front helps companies develop multilingual websites. The localization process, including translation, usually requires a massive workload, where the most difficult part is selecting correct words in translation.

We also have the English version, and we know the word picking process in translation for delivering right context is quite difficult. We have to see if translation results are naturally expressed for native speakers and terminology is also common to many people in the industry. So we understand that many startups postponed launching multilingual websites despite the fact that they have typically announced their global expansion.

How will the new platform solve this problem? Yamada said that the platform enables the translation of websites dynamically using a proxy server. Conyac Front crawls a website and lists an index of webpages. Website owners can point to the part that is common across these webpages (such as menu or site description) and order a translation.

Website owners do not need to build a multilingual interface. When a user visits a website, the platform will detect their access location. If the access is from outside your language region, the platform will transfer the access to a proxy server and show translated results.

Translated results will be dynamically updated, which will allow website owners to adopt the platform even for websites using content management systems such as WordPress. But the company says that some membership-based websites, which typically require a user login process or a paywall, may not work properly in transferring user access to the proxy server.

The platform is more suited for translating corporate websites rather than news websites like The Bridge, where content is not often updated and very few technical terms are used.