New Version of In-page Editor, Translate API and More

I’m proud to present a Get Localization June Release. It’s bigger than normally as it incorporates so many new features we’ve been cooking up for you guys. I’ll briefly introduce these features so you can get the idea what to expect. During coming days, we will provide videos and blog posts that cover these features more in detail.

This release is all about website translation. We’ve been extremely good in providing translation tools for mobile/app/client developers in the past but we felt that our offering for web developers was not that good. This is now changing as we introduce In-page Editor 2.0, a remarkable piece of technology that changes how websites are translated.

In-page Editor 2.0

We released our first prototype of In-page Editor last year June 23rd, almost exactly a year ago. We felt that there was huge potential in this technology but time just wasn’t right to go all-in with it. This is now changed, website translation is one of the key issues developers are struggling today and we want to help with that.

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Previously our In-page editor was a bookmarklet (and it still is) but now in order to provide best possible user experience for translators we provide widget that helps you to incorporate In-page editor to your own site really easily.

It’s a small translate button in the left side of your website and clicking that allows you to start translating your site. So simple and easy. See for an example our company website and you can actually see how it works! (Some of the texts are using Cufón so they cannot be currently translated, shame on us!)

This is what you get after you click that Translate button. Editing work is happening in the page itself, here’s the screenshot of Wall Street Journal being translated to Finnish:

You can see right-away if the translation is breaking the layout or doesn’t fit to the context. After translation, the material is also available in our traditional editor as you can see from this screenshot:

With Or Without Internationalization Work

This means you can translate all the content, not just the ones that are internationalized by developers. You can upload your traditional localization files as well and translations are automatically placed to correct files while translation happens. If there’s no file available, those translations are placed in file called “Extras” and they can be then dealt with several ways, either adding the strings to original localization files or then accessing them using our new JavaScript API.

Here’s an example of Extras and PO file together:

Extras file contain all those strings that were translated with In-Page editor but were not found from django.po file.

Works with ALL Content Management Systems

You can translate all the content with In-page Editor. It works with WordPress, Sharepoint, Joomla, basically any CMS system in the market.

Get Localization Translate API

Get Localization Translate API is quite similar in architecture than famous Google Translate API. As you may know, Google Translate API is now deprecated and will move to paid model by the end of this year. API being really similar gives you an advantage to migrate easily from Google Translate API to Get Localization. Of course it won’t give you machine translation feature but it will give you an opportunity to translate your site really easily using crowdsourced or professional translators. This will definitely improve the readability and provide better experience for your users.

With Get Localization Translate API, you don’t need to use any i18n framework. You can simply use In-page editor to translate your site and with API, translations are available in similar fashion as using Google Translate API.

API documentation is available in our library: http://www.getlocalization.com/library/api/get-localization-translate-api/

Try them out, They Are Free!

We would love to hear some feedback, I know this is quite much to digest at once so we will provide videos and more information that will clarify these features in coming days. So please, send us your questions and feedback and we will try to answer them. All the features are live already today so you can try them yourself. You can find the instructions under your project “Settings” tab.  And just a friendly reminder that we reserve the right to limit your bandwidth if you go crazy so if you’re planning to use these with high traffic site, please contact us first to discuss about details.

We will also roll-out these new features to our Lingodesk product family as soon as possible. You can learn more about Lingodesk from our company website.

What We Can Learn from Cloudpocalypse?

As most of you already know, Amazon EC2 had some serious issues last and this week that took down several big web 2.0 services. Unfortunately Get Localization was also affected. Problems started on Thursday afternoon (UTC) when AWS was just about recovering from the first outage. We had survived from the first wave of crashes but the second one took us down.

This was unfortunate incident and the easiest solution would be to blame Amazon for this. However it would be wrong. And here’s why:

Our company has been using AWS now almost three years and this was the first time something like this happened to us. It must have been a really stressful and difficult situation to all AWS engineers and despite that, they were able to recover their systems for most of the customers relatively quickly when considering the complexity and how many were affected (the whole data center).

But the main thing here is that we could have done things better. The point is that we can’t blame others when something like this happens, especially when we are in cloud.

There’s no server or infrastructure that never crashes. Cloud is not different in that sense. But what cloud can offer is an easier and better infrastructure to manage these issues — only when used correctly. The biggest problem for us was that our volumes were lost, the data was not lost but the connection between our server and volumes was not working. We could’ve restored the servers and launched new volumes to non-affected zone but our database servers were down so we were not able to mirror the most current data to new volumes.

We have secondary backups as well but they are not real-time. We could’ve gone back and lost couple of hours of work but instead we decided to wait until AWS fixes this problem. That unfortunately took 20 long hours.

Happily we didn’t lose any data and systems have been up and running since last Friday but this is not something we take lightly.

So what we learned from this?

– Elastic Block Storage (EBS) is clearly a weak point. It’s a persistent storage but the connection between instance and volume is not reliable. It can disconnect and bring the whole database server down. We are figuring a way to replace EBS with some more reliable solution so this cannot happen anymore.

– We cannot trust that availability zones within one region are safe from each other. The problem was occurring now in all availability zones in N. Virginia data center. This was not expected to happen.

– The most critical is the API that should not go down. It’s something that can be seen by our customers customers and we cannot accept that. Getting rid of EBS and locating to different regions should bring the stability and reliability we need.

In retrospect, we could’ve done better but on the bright side we learned a lot how to make our service more reliable. Amazon EC2 is a remarkable platform that gives you the power to distribute your applications to all over the world but we just need to keep in mind what Stan Lee once said:  “With great power there must also come great responsibility”. It’s our responsibility to make the system reliable.

See also: Amazon explains what went wrong

Translation Memory is Dead, Long Live Translation Memory!

I’ve been following this debate about translation memories. Are they dead or not? To me it sounded quite confusing until I understood what people actually meant when they talked about “Translation memory”. If you have followed this blog, you know that our background is in software development. We create a product for software developers to use, “from developers to developers” as we say.

So there are now respected industry veterans telling to the world that “translation memory should be like a version control system for developers!”. I have to say that I love this statement and I agree with it fully. Actually I wrote about that over a year ago in this very same blog in almost exactly same wording.

But I would like to propose one thing: Please stop calling it “Translation memory”. Translation memory is just a feature. It’s a nice feature in the editor along with other nice features but it just doesn’t describe the behaviour of current socially enabled localisation platforms like GetLocalization.com that actually already contains a version management system. It’s not even the core thing anymore! Call it anything else, I don’t care but just do not call it “Translation memory”.

So in that sense, yes TM alone is definitely dead but technically TM is still a great feature, a little helper that makes translators day a bit easier.

Thank you for considering!

Get Localization is Out of Beta: Covering New Features

First official release of Get Localization is out and now it would be a good time to go through all the new features we’ve cooked up for you.

First to make clear, we haven’t changed our core functionality. We are still free for crowdsourcing but we’ve now added additional options to crowdsource in more professional manner. This means that the basic offering what we’ve will remain free like it has been past year.

But we understand that basic crowdsourcing might not be solution to everyone. It’s a great option for developers to leverage their existing user base by means of engagement.  For example when somebody translates your app, she or he becomes an ambassador for your app in their own country and that is exactly what you want.

However, communities might not be easy to control. Bigger companies typically have deadlines and project plans. It’s hard to estimate when crowd will finish your translation completely. Our solution to this is bounties. You can set bounty for the language and we will make sure it will get translated by promised deadline. We give you recommended bounty amount that is based on your project size but you can set it yourself as well. Translators can choose their work so more than you set, more faster you will get them. All translations are provided by professional translators and they’ve 100% money back guarantee so you can be sure that quality meets your needs. You can also combine bounties with basic crowdsourcing by e.g. translating larger updates with volunteers and use bounties to validate and finish the translations. Bounties are now released and ready to be used.

Second important feature is private projects. We understand that there might be some needs to make translation privately. You can freely grant access for your volunteer or professional translators to your project with our easy-to-use user manager.

Third feature is called Pro Moderation. User quality control in Get Localization works through voting and commenting. This way you can rely on your whole user base in quality issues. In addition to that, you can optionally have our trained staff moderate your public project and select the best crowdsourced translations for your product. Basic fee includes moderation for English, French, Italian, German, Spanish, Swedish and Finnish. Moderator is suitable for larger companies to support for example their own community manager.

These features are part of Get Localization Plus Package (29,90€/month). Pro Moderation has an additional fee of 179€/month. All prices are VAT excluded. You can upgrade your existing project to Plus plan from the project settings. New users have an option to select wanted features when they register their project.

As always, we are happy to hear your feedback. Let us know what you think!

Press Release: Get Localization out of Beta with Added Premium Features

Helsinki, Finland – Feb 7, 2011 – Synble Ltd., creator of innovative localization solutions and mobile software, has today released its new generation community service for developers and translators, Get Localization (http://getlocalization.com/). This revolutionary service makes localization easier than ever before for software and web development companies.

The market and demand for localized software is growing rapidly. Apple App Store is available in 90 countries and Android Market in almost 50. However, applications are mostly created in English only, regardless of the country where they are developed, leaving large market areas not fully catered for. Numerous web sites can still only be found in a very limited selection of languages.

Get Localization changes the localization process by offering an easy and intuitive cloud service for developers who can now start their localization project in a matter of minutes.

The service gives developers the opportunity to choose the way of localization that is best suited for their needs. In addition to the traditional approach with localization through professional translators, the developer can choose to engage the user community and crowdsource the translation, or go with a combination of these two. A broad service offering allows to meet the needs of large enterprises as well as self-employed developers.

Get Localization has ideal tools for crowdsourcing localization to the user community. By translating, voting and commenting, the community can easily help their favorite applications gain new grounds. The user interface for translators is very intuitive and extremely easy to learn but still offers powerful productivity aids. This makes it very easy for a new user to get started and helps the user community in creating excellent translations.

One of the numerous projects to have benefited from Get Localization already in beta stage is the all-in-one sports and exercise assistant runtastic for iPhone, Android and Blackberry. After carefully examining available services and the app user community, runtastic decided to engage its users with Get Localization.

According to Stefan Hamm, Head of Mobile Development at runtastic, “localization into Spanish, French and Italian helped us increase downloads with over 100 % and runtastic went straight to top three in health and fitness categories of the respective countries.” Further he adds, “The Get Localization service is very easy to use and it allowed us from the start to focus on localization instead of administration.”

Get Localization fast facts:

– Intuitive web interface for both developers and translators, project can be started within only a few minutes
– Easy uploading for developers, no need for any file conversions for iPhone, Android, Ruby on Rails and numerous other formats.
– Crowdsourcing made easy, as the intuitive translation interface will allow translators to start translating within minutes. Professional translators will recognise core functions of CAT-tools now transformed into a cloud based solution.

Kill or Keep? Measuring our Product/Market Fit

There’s a great post about how to measure your product/market fit here. It’s a recommended reading to anyone interested in a serious product development. This post however, is about us implementing that idea.

So we asked from our developers: How disappointed would you be if you could no longer use this service?

That’s a scary question to anyone who has put their heart and all the waking hours to create something others would hopefully use and enjoy. But it’s a good question to ask, otherwise there’s no way to know am I wasting time here or maybe doing actually something useful?

Well I think we got the answer to that question and as a bonus some really awesome feedback! Thanks to all who answered, we will read all your feedback for sure. Also thanks to KISSinsights for providing great free widget for the survey.

So to the results: Staggering 68.2% think that they would be very disappointed if they could no longer use GetLocalization.com (!!!!). 22.7% would be somewhat disappointed and only 9,1% not disappointed at all.

Wow! The team has really put an effort on creating the service so it’s great to see that you guys and gals appreciate it! For us this means that there’s a lot of work ahead and meeting all the expectations is going to be tough challenge but we are definitely up to it.

And don’t forget that you can still give us feedback (we reply) so if there’s anything in your mind, don’t hesitate to let us know here in the comments or submit via our help desk.

Big thanks again for everyone who answered to survey