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Crowdsourcing Startup, Flitto Seeks to Make Google Translate Obsolete

Whether you’re a native English or Vietnamese speaker, chances are, you’ve used Google Translate at least once. The tech behemoth’s translation service, which relies on an algorithm, is notorious for hilarious mis-translations. But what if you actually need a correct one?

This is the role South Korean startup, Flitto, is trying to fill. Instead of relying on software, the company submits queries to qualified human beings who quickly respond with reliable translations (and in turn make money).

Flitto, which made an appearance at this week’s TechCrunch San Francisco Disrupt conference, offers translations in 14 languages (including Vietnamese) and has already accumulated 2 million users.

TechinAsia’s Anh-Minh Do sat down with Simon Lee, founder and CEO of Flitto, to demo the app:

"So, for example, let’s say you want to translate a sign that is in Korean, into English, so that you can read it. All you have to do is take a picture of the sign and upload it to Flitto, and within one minute, other users will translate it into English," Said Lee.

As Simon demoed, I was in awe as 5 or 6 translations were immediately submitted from actual users across the world. Within a few minutes, we selected which was our favorite translation and rated it at 5 stars. Once the best translation was selected, no more translations were submitted to the system. In other words, at any moment, you can get an accurate translation of anything from text to photos to audio of one language and have it translated, within a minute. That’s the power of this platform.”

The app is based on a point system where users buy points which are passed onto translators for successful translations. They then redeem them for cash money (via PayPal or bank account).

Do points to the example of an Indonesian girl who makes $300 per month while translating only 30 minutes per day.

The app is available on both Android and iOS.

Head over to TechinAsia for more details.

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