Tag Archives: localization

Pune’s LinguaNext, a localization software company, raises Series A funding from Helion

LinguaNext, a Pune-based company that provides a “langauge management platform” for software products, has raised a round of funding form Helion Venture Partners, reports VCCircle.

LinguaNext creates software products that allow enterprise software to be “localized” to one or more languages without requiring any change in the source code of the software.

What is Localization?

Most software in the world first gets written with English as the language of interfacing with the user. The menus are in English, and the messages, and labels on forms, and user interface buttons are all in English. If the same software needs to be used by a Japanese person who does not understand any English, she will either have to memorize the meanings and locations of the various English menu options and buttons, or the software needs to be modified such that all the English in the interface is replaced by Japanese. The same thing needs to be repeated for every major language in the world (where the company has customers).

This process is called Localization

Why is Localization Hard?

All the places in the source code of the software where English might be embedded, and all the images used in the user-interface need to be replaced. This is a huge task, because often, enterprise software contains millions of lines of code.

And this has to be done for dozens of languages, if not 100+.

And this can’t be done just once. Because every time the original software is updated, the various localized versions need to be updated.

Sometimes, the source code of the software might not even be available, or it might be too difficult to change.

What does LinguaNext do?

LinguaNext has products that allow their customers to localize the software they sell without having to modify the source code of the software. They can attach themselves to running programs, and modify the user interface screen of the software on the fly, and replace the English text with the appropriate text from the target language. Similarly, with web-browser based software, they can modify the HTML/JavaScript that gets generated by the software and do the language replacement before the webpage is sent to the user.

How LinguaNext Works
This is how LinguaNext works. Note that the original application (in blue) is not modified at all. Instead, when the original app is sending data to the screen (technically, the screen buffer), or to the printer, LinguaNext intercepts it, replaces the English Text, and sends the modified data to the screen. (Click for full-size image.)

This is excellent for the customer. Being able to localize a software without having to modify the source code is a dream of the marketing department (which, otherwise has to deal with the tech guys before they start selling any version of any software in a new country).

But, there are lots of little problems that need to be solved to make this a reality. For example, consider this tricky problem: what happens if the space on the screen (in the menu dropdown, or on a button) isn’t wide enough for the new word that they want to put there. i.e. if the Hindi word that replaces a particular English word is very long and it won’t fit. They solve this problem by having language experts who are able to suggest alternative words that are smaller, or by developing special narrow fonts to fit in words like these.

Although technically LinguaNext was started only in 2010, the core technology for LinguaNext, and the CTO of the company (Rajeevlochan Phadke), both come from an earlier company called Image Point that was around – doing similar software – since 2002. In other words, they have been developing, fine-tuning and selling this software for a dozen years.

They do this with Oracle or SAP Applications, HR Applications, Cloud Apps, Windows Desktop Apps, and now Mobile Apps are the next big target. LinguaNext already has customers such as SBI (State Bank of India), Punjab National Bank, and sofrware maker SAP.

What will they do with the funding?

According to the press release, they will use the funding to “expand in international markets, hire talent and scale up its mobile platform.” Going to Japan and Europe is likely to be one of their major priorities. India has lots of local languages, and lots of need for localization, but really, Indian companies don’t really like paying for software. Japan and Europe has the non-English speaking people who pay lots of money for software. And of course, as any website owner will tell you, mobile apps are taking over the world, and soon, localization of Android and iPhone apps is likely to be a huge market.

Event report: Mozilla for you Business

(Last weekend, Pune played host to Arun Ranganathan, Technology Evangelist for the Mozilla Foundation, Seth Bindernagel, Director of Localization, and Axel Hecht, who co-ordinates localization from a technical perspective, and Ragavan Srinivasan, from Mozilla Labs. We had a meeting of the Mozilla Folks and the Pune Open Coffee Club. POCC member Gurminder Singh, posted this “event report” on the Pune Startups mailing list. It is reproduced here with permission.)

The Mozilla Foundation logo
Image via Wikipedia

The whole session proved to be very interesting. Here is short summary about session on 21st/ Feb 2010 at SICSR Pune.

It Started with Arun’s presentation which covered

Open web platform

Open web platform does not mean open source, it means the standards on which web is based should be open. for e.g PHP is open standard and used by facebook to build million dollar business, Google supports and extensively uses open standards. Organizations should involve in defining and shaping open standards while keep in view the way web is evloving.

Using this open web platform million dollar businesses can be built.

The HTML5 standard has many revolutionary features to change the how people interact with web. One of them is Video

Future of Video on Web

Currently there is no standard format of video on web. We can see avi, mov, mp4, flv etc floating all over. People mistakenly assume flash to be standard because of its widespread use. Flash is a proprietary format from Adobe and lacks the open standard definition which makes it hard for Open standard browsers like Firefox to support it. Therefore HTML5 is coming up with new open format for video “Ogg Theora”. Recently  after a lot of community pressure YouTube announced support for Ogg theora format.

In HTML5 using elements like canvas, video and SVG a video can be treated as data and manipulated on runtime. for eg user can put a video inside a video on the fly. It can be used to make ajax calls on video and running it without any third party software.

Firefox capturing device orientation

With new hardware capabilities like accelerometer very common in devices, firefox has come up with new api to capture device orientation events. This capability can be used for better user experience detecting the motion.

Fonts for web

There was small discussion about a company name typekit.com . Typekit provides user with all the fancy fonts which till today were shaped in some image editing software and pasted as image on website.


Firefox 3.6 is having support for geolocation api. Geolocation identifies the users location and points it on google maps. Under the hood it uses google gears service.


Future firefox versions (maybe 3.8 , 3.9) will have support for 3D graphics. This is based on web3gl component which interacts with OpenGL to render graphics on screen.

The Mozilla-based Business Idea competition

At the end of session Seth, Arun, Ragavan and Axel organized a small contest where in audience was divided in 10 teams of 3. Each team was given 5 minutes to come up with business idea and present it to audience. Presentation time was 1 min and after questioning about business model etc a winner was decided.

Out of the ten business ideas, these 4 were in finals:

  • Typekit.com for indian languages – typekit.in
  • e-learning classrooms for physically impaired – using video in video capabilities of HTML5
  • Making a video using Mashup – e.g Google maps,text to speech audio
  • Using Geolocation api from firefox – giving user local search results like restaurants

The winner was: e-learning classrooms for physically impaired.

It was great experience to interact with team. We are hungry for more such sessions. Thanks for coming and thanks for reading this through 🙂

About the Author – Gurminder Singh

By profession, Gurminder is a System programmer (C, Linux kernel,Wireless Networks) and has a hobbyist he is a Django, Firefox extensions, and web-2.0 developer. His interests are building useful products(Mashups) using web2.0 components

He is learning new technologies with his experiment http://www.tutit.net. It is a social tuting place, where a user can publicaly store tutorial bookmarks. It is hosted on Google App Engine using Django, Jquery and Dojo.

Gurminder is on twitter as @sgurminder, and can be reached at sgurminder@gmail.com

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Allow your marketing department to produce translated versions of your website with Dubzer

Do in half an hour what would normally take weeks!

dubzer-logoNormally, making a website available in multiple languages is the last thing on the minds of a web developer. It costs time and money, is boring work, is error prone, and in the mind of a developer, it does not add any new features, or sexiness to the website. So, the developer drags his or her feet over this.

Of course, marketing does not see things the same way. Large chunks of the market are excluded when a website talks just in English. And trying to get engineering to produce the other language versions is a struggle.

Like they say, the best person to do something is the person who is most passionate about it. Which means that it would be great if the marketing department could translate the website without having to involve the developers.

That is the promise of Dubzer, which launched at Demo Fall 09’s Alpha Pitch today, and become the latest Pune startup to hit the world stage (after onion.tv that debuted at TechCrunch50’s demopit) from Santosh Dawara and Anjali Gupta, who previously brought us Lipikaar (the software for typing in Indian languages, which my mom loves), and Bookeazy (the much loved, but now dead, movie ticket booking service).

Dubzer will allow non-technical people to create translated versions of a website, or parts of a website, without requiring any significant changes to the backend of the website. It appears that this will be a hosted service, where you provide Dubzer with the URL of your website, they crawl it and then provide you with an online platform where you can start translating and publishing portions of your website (start with the most popular, or most important pages first). There are a whole bunch of features indicating that enterprise users are also being targeted – specifically, ability to translate intranets, fine-grained access control (i.e. who has permission to translate which portions of the site). Another interesting feature is that they allow you to implement different mechanisms of translation – i.e. free & paid translation methods, such as machine based (e.g. google translate), volunteer driven (e.g. what facebook is doing), crowd-sourced (as in wikipedia), or professional translation (sometimes, you get what you pay for).

Unlike Bookeazy and Lipikaar, Dubzer is actually incubated by Persistent Systems, which means that the team sits in Persistent Systems’ premises (except Anjali who has left Pune, traitorously defected to Bangalore). Their board of advisors includes Anand Deshpande, Founder and MD of Persistent, Abhijit Athavale, President of Markonix, and creator of PuneChips, and Jugal Gupta, CEO of Databyte.

One interesting point to note: Last year the Lipikaar founders ran into the problem of translating their website into all the various Indian languages (they are after all trying to sell software for writing in 18 different languages, so they better have their own website in those languages). When they did not find a decent solution, they decided to build it themselves and Dubzer was born. Similarly, Arun Prabhudesai was looking for a way to monetize his blog, trak.in with in-text ads, and did not find any appropriate solution. So, he decided to build it himself and hover.in was born.

There-in lies a lesson for us all…

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Adding FUEL to the Marathi Localization Fire: PLUG Meeting – June 6

FUEL (Frequently Used Entries for Localization) is an open source project for streamlining the process of translating open source software into regional languages like Hindi and Marathi. We’ve had two major FUEL Marathi meetings recently – one in the GNUnify conference, and later in the Indlinux conference. Based on this, the Pune Linux Users Group decided to continue this work by with the aim being apart from the current active members in Marathi L10N,  find and get more persons from different walks, to participate in Marathi L10N activities. While that being the broader goal, the starting point activity will be standardizing on Marathi translations in FUEL, after which more localization work could be done, depending on resources and level of interest.

With this in mind, all those interested in contributing to this initiative (i.e. all those who can contribute to the Marathi translation project (also known as Localisation or L10N)) are invited to attend the FUEL Marathi meeting on Saturday 6th June, 6pm, at Symbiosis Institute of Computer Studies and Research (SICSR), 7th floor, Atur Center, Model Colony, Pune, India (Map). The meeting is free and open for all. No registration required. The meeting will be held immediately after the Pune Linux Users Group monthly meeting, which is from 4 to 6pm. (The PLUG monthly meeting is held on the first Saturday of every month in the same place and at the same time. It’s a good place to meet the most enthusiastic Linux and open source fans in Pune.)

The meeting will discuss the following points:

1. Current status of Marathi localisation: How, why, where, what etc.
2. FUEL activities. How to take it further.
3. Marathi word collection for adding in dictionaries. Validation/verification of these words. (Shantanu Oak has a big repository that needs to be reviewed/verified/corrected and included in dictionaries)
4. Spell check and other related applications/tools
5. Generating new words for various technical English words.
5. Usage of unicode by various categories of users- especially the DTP, book publications community.
6. Pushing Unicode from the Government to the users.
7. etc. etc. etc.  add here…. etc etc etc.

This is not just an “open source” or “Linux” activity. This is for those interested in seeing good Marathi translations of software and is generic to all the computing systems. Please inform other like minded people and groups so that we have enough people at the meeting to give a boost to Marathi l10n activities.

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IndLinux: 2-day meet for developers of Indian versions of Linux – May 16, 17

Image by fox2mike via Flickr

What: A 2-day workshop intended for all teams working on localization, documentation and development of Indian versions of Linux
When: 16, 17 May, 10am to 6pm
Where: Red Hat Pune, 6th Floor, East Wing Marisoft-III, Marigold Premises, Kalyaninagar, Pune
Registration and Fees: No idea. But, in keeping with the “free” and “open source” philosophy of linux, I would be surprised if the event isn’t free and open for all to attend
Link: click

A meeting of the various teams associated with IndLinux will be held at the offices of Red Hat Inc., Pune. Broad objectives of the meeting are to have all teams touch base with one another, and work together to chalk out a roadmap for work over the next year. There will be three tracks over the two days of the meeting, with two of these always running in parallel: (a) Localisation track, (b) Documentation track, and (c) Code development track. Specific objectives, and where possible, immediate deliverables for the various components of each track will be set before the meeting.


Day I: 16th May, 2009

Localisation track

Development track


Introduction, general queries and concerns


Bengali: Runa Bhattacharjee


Locales, and related work: Rahul Bhalerao, Pravin Satpute, Parag Nemade


Chhatishgarhi: Ravishankar


Gujarati: Kartik, Shweta Kothari




FUEL project: Rajesh Ranjan


OCR: Tesseract Debayan


Assamese: Amitakhya Phukan


Hindi: Rajesh Ranjan, Ravishankar, Karunakar, Ravikant


Kannada: Shankar Prasad


Maithili: Sangeeta Kumari, Rajesh Ranjan


Malayalam: Santhosh Thottingal


OCR: Simple approach: Gora, Shantanu, Nandeep

Day II: 17th May, 2009

Localisation/documentation track

Development track


Marathi: Sandeep Shedmake



(a) Finish phonetic rules for aspell: Gora

(b) Phonetic rules for Hunspell: Santhosh

(c) Stardict dictionaries: Karunakar


Oriya: Manoj Giri


Punjabi: Jaswinder Singh


Translation quality assurance: Runa Bhattacharjee




Tamil: Sri Ramadoss M, I Felix


Font converters: Gora, Shantanu, Nandeep, including Hindi work from Google groups.


Telugu: Krishnababu


Round table on localisation: All


Other development work


Discussion on emphasising documentation

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Mozilla for your business: Meet Seth Bindernagel and Arun Ranganathan of Mozilla – Sun, 15 Feb

Mozilla Foundation logo
Image via Wikipedia
  • Firefox
  • Firefox extensions as a business model?
  • Mozilla‘s mobile browser Fennec
  • JQuery and other such libraries – quick visual demos of what is possible
  • HTML5 & XHTML2 and W3C’s WebApps initiative
  • Localization
  • Emerging trends in JavaScript
  • The Bespin Web-based IDE – the google docs for code!
  • Exciting projects in Mozilla Labs

What to get first-hand information on any of these topics? Seth Bindernagel and Arun Ranganathan, Directors with Mozilla are in Pune this weekend, and we felt that Pune’s web-based businesses and web-developers should get a chance to interact with them to get an idea of the latest developments in the various products that Mozilla is involved in. There will be some presentations, and lots of time for Q&A.

What: Breakfast with Mozilla. Meet Arun Ranganathan, Mozilla Tech Evangelist, and Seth Bindernagel, Director of Localization for Mozilla
When: Sunday, 15 Feb, 9am to 1pm
WhereSymbiosis Institute of Computer Studies and Research, Room 707, 7th Floor, Atur Centre, Model Colony. Map.
Registration and Fees: This event is free for all, but seats are limited. You must register at http://breakfast-with-mozilla.eventbrite.com/ (first-come-first-served).

9am-10am: Breakfast and Conversation
10am-1pm: A freewheeling, roundtable kind of discussion, loosely structured around the following:

  • Introductions of Seth and Arun. What we do, what we’d like to accomplish during our short stay in India, etc.
  • Introduction to the Mozilla Project (10 – 15 mins.). How we work, tools we use, etc. Brief history + discussion of our open source m.o.
  • Localization. *May* be able to demo Fennec, or mobile Firefox.
  • Extensions. Do the entrepeneurial community think extensions are a good model? Arun will also demo Personas. Essentially, discuss http://addons.mozilla.org/ and potential future directions.
  • Discussion about the Open Web. What do we mean by the Open Web? What tools, libraries, are available? Who supports it? What’s lacking? I’ll give demos of:
    • Libraries such as jquery — very brief, visual demonstrations about what can be done with it.
    • The Bespin IDE. It’s an open source project that we believe will alter how people think about web development 🙂 Essentially, discuss what web developers have been clamoring for, and what we’re doing to try and address that.
    • Discussion of video, and open codecs. Discuss 2D and 3D graphics capabilities that are being introduced into the web platform. Why use technologies like Flash? Why NOT use technologies like Flash?
    • What’s coming down the road? What should the platform be capable of? 3.5. Open discussion. What kinds of applications can be created on top of these tools? And, how can entrepreneurs and web developers help craft this direction?
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Type in 15 languages using Lipikaar – winner of Manthan award

Pune-based startup Lipikaar, creator of software that allows typing of 15+ Indian languages using a standard English keyboard, and which was one of the companies selected for in this July’s proto.in, is once again in the news – for winning the Manthan award.

The Manthan Award is a first of its kind initiative to recognize the best practices in e-Content. It was launched on 2004, by Digital Empowerment Foundation in partnership with World Summit Award and American India Foundation. The Manthan Award South Asia 2008 had received 284 nominations from 8 countries across 13 categories. Participating countries were India, Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Bhutan, Nepal, Pakistan, Sri Lanka. The award cites Lipikaar for its coverage (15+ languages), its ease of use, and it applicability to the masses.

Here is a profile of Lipikaar from the PuneTech wiki:

Lipikaar sells software tools that allow a simple method for typing in Hindi (and 15 other Indic languages) on an ordinary keyboard. It requires no learning, and within a few seconds you will be able to type in Hindi any word that you can imagine.

Lipikaar aims to be different from all other transliteration competitors due to its use of patented technology which allows anybody to enter text without requiring any knowledge of English, which is a requirement for most other method

[edit] Features

[edit] Desktop Software

The Lipikaar technology is available as downloadable desktop software for Windows. It works as a keyboard overlay, which means that once installed, it allows you to input Indic language text into any application – Microsoft Office (i.e. Word, Excel), all websites, chat and e-mail.

[edit] Firefox Addon

Lipikaar is also available as a Firefox add-on that allows the user to enter Indic text to create emails, blogs, scraps, comments, chats and search in your favourite language on any website. Unlike the desktop software, this add-on is free.

[edit] Web publisher services

Webmasters wishing to allow local language text input on their website can avail of Lipikaar’s services, and they will work with the webmasters to integrate their technology in the website.

[edit] Languages Supported

Lipikaar supports 15 languages – Arabic, Hindi, Marathi, Sanskrit, Nepali, Konkani, Sindhi, Bengali, Gujarati, Punjabi, Tamil, Telugu, Kannada, Malayalam and Urdu.

[edit] Links

[edit] Awards

[edit] Articles

[edit] People