When we released our Cyrano API we decided that the best way to show people what it can do with their bots is by placing one on our Facebook page and doing the API integration to make it multilingual. We used a known bot engine...
Your bot can give you weather predictions, recite your schedule from the top of his head and even tell you a pretty good joke. But there is something I bet it can’t do – speak different languages. Ever since Mark Zuckerberg presented Facebook chat bots during annual F8 developer event in April this year, they have been all the rage. Had he launched Facebook’s M bot worldwide, he would discover that 75% of the world wouldn’t understand it (well, he probably knew that). Language barrier is a problem we understand very well at Unbabel, that’s why we created Cyrano API. How does it work? It’s easy on the outside (just go here and say „Hi” in the language of your choosing), a little bit more complex on the inside (where both our AI and community of 40k editors get to action), but the most important thing is that in few easy step you can make your bot speak with people from around the world in their native languages.
“The Internet is in English”
It’s easy to fall under this illusion. Even though this statement used to hold true in the 90s, nowadays it doesn’t reflect the reality. Today only 35% of the internet’s content is in English, and this number continues to diminish. The internet is by far the biggest platform for global communication, but it is diverging. Communities all around the world are producing more and more content in their own native language. While browsing in English used to be the best way for people to access desired content, nowadays it’s not necessary. 74% of customers worldwide choose to search in their own language, and in some countries, even choose local search engines over Google (in 2013 both Baidu and Yandex had 62% of market shares in their countries of origin).
Unbabel’s CEO Vasco Pedro was recently a guest on The App Guy Podcast hosted by Paul Kemp. He spoke about going through Y Combinator, growing a startup and finding balance between private and professional life. Here you can read the full interview:
In this second part of Startup School Radio interview, Sofia and Vasco talk to the host – Aaron Harris about the beginning of Unbabel and our mission. You can read the first part of the interview here, or listen to the whole podcast here.
Two of Unbabel’s Co-Founders – Sofia Pessanha and Vasco Pedro were guests on Startup School Radio hosted by Aaron Harris, partner at Y Combinator. In this first part of the interview, they speak about how they both got into startups, how the startup scene in Portugal was born and what’s the state of it now.
When you work in sales or operations and your company is looking to attract more international customers, a great way to help make that happen is with small gestures. For example, simply using salutations in prospective clients’ native languages when you email them could be the deciding factor in whether you seal the deal. The gesture indicates that you truly do care and are willing to put in work. Think along these lines for salutations on notifications and apps, and you’re in an even better position. Italy has a lot of potential, because as you no doubt know, life there is highly relationship based. Adding a personal touch can be extremely effective, so here’s the scoop on basic salutation terms in Italian.
„I know this one!” I shouted really excited in my Portuguese class the other week. We were learning different idioms and the teacher asked what we think sem pés nem cabeça. It literally means without feet or a head and is used for something that doesn’t make much sense. In Poland we would say something really similar in the same situation – nie ma rąk ani nóg – it doesn’t have arms or legs.
Most of the Polish idioms sound less familiar to a foreign speaker. Even more – they sound really bizarre. But don’t let that stop you from using them whenever interacting with Poles. With my twenty-four years of experience in speaking Polish, I’m here to teach you some of them:
Earlier this month Garry Tan – former partner at Y Combinator – came to Lisbon and gave an amazing talk at Beta-i. He spoke not only about his successes, but also about his biggest mistakes and what he has learned from them. The Unbabel team was there, and so was I. If you also want to learn something from Garry’s experience, here are my notes:
Grand Central Station in New York City. NYC inhabitants represent hundreds of different nationalities. Many people consider it the most diverse city in the world. It’s also a home to around 800 languages.
You’re excited to take your business international, but you know that step is a big transition from operating domestically. Your marketing department may be well suited for connecting with your current audience, but you need to know whether they can adapt to the marketing expectations of different cultures. When you’re looking at your marketing department to figure out who should head up your international marketing efforts, here are five key characteristics to look for.