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Hi there —
A lot of people ask me why we bothered to build Setlr.
It’s a fair question. There are plenty of options out there for translation.
But the problem was that none of the options were right for me.
As an expat, I was using Google to do all of my translation, and I was struggling. Machine translation apps like Google are built for “rough” translation, not contextual work. The reason they often fail is because they actually don’t translate anything, they just search for similar translations done in the past by real translators and take a “best guess” at the meaning and context.
My readers often laughed at me and I was constantly feeling embarrassed.
So I looked for a better solution.
Unfortunately, what I found was that the professional translation agencies were way more than I needed for everyday use. With too many formal processes and prohibitively expensive pricing, using an agency felt overwhelming. When I talked to people who had used agencies I was surprised by the number of times I heard “it still gave me problems” and “it still doesn’t sound native”.
I started to look around my local community for bilingual friends, people I could ask to help me to make my translations sound native, and people who could translate foreign text in a way that made sense to me. I knew I had to pay my friends a little for their skills and their time so I usually bought them a bottle of wine!
The more I looked, the more bilinguals I discovered. When I did a bit more research I discovered that around 50% of the world's population are bilingual. I couldn't believe that there were so many bilingual people around me there was no easy way to tap into their skills whenever I needed a translation.
That’s why I started Setlr.
I wanted to build a platform that could connect anyone who needs high quality localised translation with this veritable ocean of skilled bilinguals. Setlr is built to make ordering translation incredibly simple, but we do some really clever stuff behind the scenes to deliver the highest quality in the shortest time for the best price. Tens, hundreds or even thousands of native bilinguals (and professional translators) work on your job at the same time, and only the most fluent, native sounding transaltions are selected for delivery. It's really groundbreaking stuff.
I’m proud to say that Setlr is the product that I wish existed back when I was looking for the perfect translation app.
Whether you’re fed up with low quality machine translation, complicated processes or expensive agencies, I hope you’ll give Setlr a try. I’m confident that you’ll love it. We've also made it much easier to pay your community translators for their time so you don't even need to buy a bottle of wine!
And if, for any reason, you don’t think that Setlr is the best human translation app on the market — if it doesn’t deliver fast, high quality, native sounding translation — then you won’t pay a penny.
Give it a shot, and email me at [email protected] to let me know what you think.
Greg COO & Founder, Setlr
P.S. If you’d like to learn more about our experiences as a startup business — and get free lessons to help you tap into people powered community translation — check out the Setlr blog.