More Multilingual Than Thou

multilingual visitors at show
Photo by Ministerie van Buiteland on Flickr

We’ll try not to be too insufferable about it, but we just got more multilingual than thou this week at Yappn.  We’re so multilingual we make the United Nations General Assembly look like a high school foreign language club. Our enhanced machine translation software just went from 67 languages (not including Klingon. Yes really) to over 100. That’s right, over 100.

In a world that seems to grow darker and more divided every day, Yappn wants to see everyone communicate more, regardless of your native language, and there’s no better way to connect people who aren’t like us than multilingual communication.


We accomplish this through our dynamic website translations, our multilingual live chat customer care and our social media translations. Online vendors with multiple SKUs and clever product descriptions can now localize easily and automagically – er, automatically! – and open up new revenue streams in countries and cultures where they were invisible before because their prospective new customers were looking for Krāphṭa bīyara in Gujurati rather than craft beer.

Related: Indian eCommerce: How To Jump Your Competitors Now

Related: Indian Shoppers Turn To Overseas eCommerce

106We’re pretty cranked about being able to say over 100 languages. One hundred and six, to be exact, but who’s counting? (Well we are, actually!)

You can translate from any language pair you care to create – source to target. English to French, French to English, German to Igbo, Kazakh to Japanese, Galician to Frisian, Xhosa to Pashto, Cebuano to Krygyz. We’ll bet you’re thinking, “I haven’t even heard of some of those languages? Are they real? They’re not made up Star Wars languages, are they? Or a fake language of that fake country of Kyrzbekistan?”

They are all quite real. Well, except for Klingon, but we get very little call for that one.  Until NASA gets some decent funding to go To Infinity And Beyond, we don’t expect to get too many language translation requests from outer space. Although you never know, if Project Loon, to bring Internet connectivity to the most remote parts of the world via WiFi-enabled balloons really takes off, maybe we’ll hear from Klingons, Captain Kirk, E.T., Gort, and ALF.

Don’t you just love humans and our unceasing creative and innovative ability to invent and then share our cool new technology with everyone else and enable them to communicate? So do we. Project Loon is quite all right in our books!

Anyway, while we congratulated ourselves on our new language capabilities (in 106 different languages; did we mention that?), we implemented Traditional and Simplified Chinese localization for Asian mega-retailer Reebonz (You did catch the press release and the Microsoft case study, didn’t you?). We also got to wondering if there were any downsides to being multilingual and guess what, it’s not always all it’s cracked up to be! There is in fact…

The Dark Side of Being Multilingual

suspicious look

I heard that. Do they not realize I understand them? Photo by Seth Sawyers on Flickr

  • You know what people are saying about you when they don’t know you speak their language.
  • Occasionally, you overhear foreign spies talking on the Q.T. about high-level secrets and plans. If they realize you’re listening, then they’ll have to kill you.
  • Everyone’s always asking you how to say this or that. “Hey, Bob, how do you say, ‘Bite me’ in Japanese?’ ‘Oh yeah? Well Bob, how do you say ‘Up your nose with a rubber hose’ in Greek?’ ‘Oh really? Bob, how do you say ‘Your mama is so ugly she…. in Bahasa?’ ‘Hey Bob, how do you say XXXXCENSOREDXXXX in…'” Well, you get the picture. Sometimes you’re sorry you even speak English! Or have friends with the maturity level of frat boys.
  • If you have to hear that stupid rude joke about how you’re a very cunning you-know-what one more time you’re going to rip someone’s tongue out.
  • Your immigrant family doesn’t bother to learn the lingua franca because they figure they can just get you to order the stuff they need on Amazon, argue with Internet tech support, explain to the plumber what they want done, cue up all the TV shows and movies they want to watch on Netflix…
  • …Which leads you to a better understanding of just how badly subtitled so many non-North American movies really are when they’re translated into English.


Harry Potter bad translation: She is stoned

  • And finally:


mixed english & french meme about thinking in two languages


Yappn Corp is an enhanced machine translation company offering translations in 67 106 different languages! For more information in any one of 106 different languages of your choice please contact or call us at +1.905.763.3510 x246.


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Written by Nicole Chardenet, Sales Development Rep at Yappn

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