WAITE PARK (AP) -- A central Minnesota company is growing as the e-mail voice of companies worldwide with its translational services that help schools send e-mails to Spanish-speaking parents and companies describe their products outside English.
Trans-Email Inc., the high-tech arm of The Bridge World Language Center in Waite Park, is heading into its second year of full operation with plans for expanding its translator pool, its language choices and client base.
Already, it has 619 certified translators handling e-mails in 10 languages. They're scattered all over the world, connected by the Internet technology that makes the business possible.
"We believe this is for the masses," said Francisco Almarza, owner of the Waite Park-based company, located just outside St. Cloud.
"We are proud of it. We did it right here in this area," he said.
Trans-Email was created after Almarza began to explore a more cost-effective way to handle small projects at The Bridge, which has offered interpretation and translation services since 1986.
The goal was to create a program where the computer managed the work flow but people provided the translation.
The result was Trans-Email, which touts greater accuracy than free Web-based services built on computerized translation programs. It has a sophisticated routing system and is the only service where users can search their previous messages through the password-protected Web site, according to the company.
Consumers pay $15 to have up to 100 words translated. It guarantees translation within 24 hours, but it typically takes less than two hours.
Users can place a second order to have a reply translated and carbon copy the translation to 10 other e-mail addresses at no extra charge.
For now, the service takes messages from English to 10 other languages: Chinese, German, French, Portuguese, Spanish, Italian, Japanese, Polish, Romanian and Russian. Plans call for a broader menu of language capabilities.
Users can choose from a detailed list of specialties to help match the content to the translator's expertise. For instance, a message about health care goes to a translator who knows medical jargon. National designations route the work to a translator who knows the linguistic nuances of each region. Spanish translation for a message going to Chile may differ from one headed for Spain.
"Especially in these days of globalization, we have to communicate accurately," said Almarza, who hopes to have a network of nearly 2,000 translators by March.
Trans-Email requires certification from the American Translators Association or a comparable organization. Translators swear to a confidentiality standard in their contracts, and they see clients' e-mail addresses or names only if they are included in the message.
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