Do in half an hour what would normally take weeks!
Normally, 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…
- Pune-based startups, Onion.tv & Dubzer launch on the world stage – at TechCrunch50 and DEMO09 (punetech.com)
- Venture Beat’s coverage of Dubzer’s launch
- DEMO profile page of Dubzer
- Search twitter for all tweets about Dubzer
- Translation Party achieves hilarious results using Google Translate – Time Waster (downloadsquad.com)
- Coming in 2010: Multilingual Translation (deepwebtechblog.com)