For anyone who speaks more than one language, you’re probably well aware of how bedeviling translation can be, even if it’s just relaying casual conversation to a non-speaker. If you’ve had to translate something written for professional purposes to a language you don’t speak, it’s typically a costly and frustrating endeavor. Luckily, one entrepreneur is attempting to revolutionize the inefficient and fragmented translation industry with his startup, MotaWord.
In a nondescript office right off of Central Park in Manhattan, there’s a man who’s building the the “Uber of the translation industry.” In the past two years, Evren Ay has pioneered MotaWord, a company that combines the efforts of more than 9,000 translators to get things translated faster and more cheaply. He’s on the cutting edge of a new way of doing business in this space, something he calls “collaborative translation.”
Ay is of the opinion that a true startup is disruptive and ends up changing an industry that has been mostly inefficient. Attempting to live up to his definition of a startup, MotaWord exists to streamline the task of hiring a translator. Language barriers can often make or break organizations operating between different countries.
While machine translation has made great strides, it’s far from perfect. Ay is adamant that there is still no substitution for human translation, especially when an organization is creating a message. “Things can be easily understood, but if you want to create a powerful message, it needs to be flawlessly translated, and right now that means humans must be part of the process,” Ay said. MotaWord is steadily expanding, and gaining high profile clients who are interested in disseminating their content in multiple languages.
Ay’s foray into the translation-for-hire industry logically follows his culturally complicated existence. Ay grew up in Turkey, later came of age in France, and finally settled in the United States. Ay is especially passionate about entrepreneurship, and the American way of doing of business. “We have a culture in the United States of mentorship that doesn’t exist in Europe, where you can learn from successful people,” Ay said.
Ay came to the United States following his graduation from college in France because he wanted to live in a country friendly to entrepreneurship and innovation.
“The edge America has is that you don’t have to be born important in order to thrive in business–it’s still a merit-based society that gives you ample opportunity,” Ay said. “I’m hoping that culture isn’t threatened by recent political trends that casts successful people in negative light.”
For more information on MotaWord, click here to view their demonstration video.