Babylon, the publicly listed provider of translation and dictionary software and language solutions, has been around since 1997. Today, the company is launching version 9 of its flagship translation product in an effort to turn it into a veritable ‘Quora for linguistics’ (their words), referencing the Q&A startup that was launched in June 2009.
Babylon says it can leverage some 72 million members to morph its revamped product into a live Q&A linguistics community, allowing users to help one another with any translations, linguistic advice or tips about local culture.
In addition, Babylon has teamed up with a company called Ginger Software, which provides a contextual spell and grammar checker.
The goal of that partnership is to be able to offer its millions of users a – and I quote – ‘proofreading, context-understanding digital writing aid capable of shaping any document into a flawlessly written tour de force‘.
Babylon is available for Windows, Mac, iPhone, BlackBerry and Android devices.
The company claims it processes roughly 90 million translation requests on a daily basis, and that its software is downloaded over 100,000 times every day. Its database contains some 18 million definition terms, and the website is visited by 3.5 million people on a daily basis.
Aside from the social aspect, new in Version 9 of its translation software is the ability to let your computer read to you in English, German, French and more. Babylon’s so-called human voice engine provides pronunciations in over 18 languages.