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Chiang Mai start-up enables near real-time Tweet translation

Fliplingo, a new tech start-up based in Chiang Mai, has launched a near real-time Twitter translator - also named Fliplingo - to facilitate communication in a host of languages.

Founder Matthieu Aussaguel said the ultimate goal is to help people get content translated online in the easiest and quickest way possible.

Fliplingo automates translations of Twitter accounts using near real-time human-powered translation - and it all lies in the creation of what is called a "flip".

A flip works like a trigger that will automatically send users' Tweets to a translator, and then post the translation when it is completed onto a language-dedicated Twitter account.

The service uses the crowdsourcing of translations to thousands of pre-tested translators around the world. Some translators are directly being recruited by the company, and others through renowned translation platforms, he said.

"Ultimately, your Twitter account is duplicated into another language via a translator. It literally takes less than five minutes to set up the entire automation," he added.

The direct benefit of Fliplingo is that it allows users to reach out to more people and markets, without a great deal of time or money needing to be invested.

Fliplingo is most beneficial for people or companies who maintain a presence online and seek greater social-media influence, or aim to reach a new market. These would be companies, brands, bloggers, community managers or influential individuals, he said.

"My ultimate goal is to help people get content translated the easiest way you can think of. Before we started developing Fliplingo, when we were at the idea validation stage, we completed a series of face-to-face interviews with potential customers. This allowed us to really understand what customers expected Fliplingo to do for them," said the company founder.

Fiplingo currently supports around 30 languages, including English - which accounts for a third of the translated Tweets - Thai, Malay and Indonesian. It has not yet expanded into other languages, as there is no demand to do so at present.

Large brands and companies are already translating their Tweets using a duplicate account for each market or language. This is becoming more and more common practice, especially for the Asian markets, said Aussageul.

"In terms of country or region, we are still exploring this, but Europe and Asia seem to be where there is more demand at the moment. We have a plan to expand this kind of service to serve the other kinds of social media, but we are still uncertain which ones as yet. We're also looking to expand our team, and are looking for an expert in marketing," he said.

Aussaguel is a French-born Web developer, who lived in Australia and worked for the largest e-commerce platform in the country, Envato, before moving to Thailand to set up his own start-up in Chiang Mai.

"The first two weeks [since the service launch] have been quite successful. We have purposely sent only a few invitations per day; still, we currently have a couple of hundred registered users. As we offer free credit to get started, only a handful of them are paying customers so far. But in the start-up industry that's a pretty good start, so we're very happy.

"Our price is very competitive, but we can ensure quality translation to our customers, from whom we've had a satisfaction rate of more than 99.9 per cent," he added.


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