Straker Translations

Straker Translations is a New Zealand based professional translation agency with offices worldwide. Founded by Grant Straker, they are a mid-sized translation company with global reach and an impressive client list. They are notable for two products in particular, their multilingual content management system, Straker CMS, and their API based translation service for software developers.

Founded in 1999, Straker is based in New Zealand, with offices throughout the US, Europe and Asia Pacific region. The company is most noted for its multilingual content management system (CMS), which provides clients with a turnkey solution for publishing and maintaining multilingual websites. This is ordinarily quite difficult to do with most CMS platforms, even systems such as Drupal that were designed to handle multilingual content. Less technical clients who need an easy to use publishing platform for their multi-language projects should definitely consider Straker’s platform as an option.

The company is also unique in the industry for operating on a pay per hour versus per word pricing model. Their philosophy is that translation is a multi-step process that involves some tasks, such as proof reading and post editing, that are more difficult to meter. Ultimately their focus is on providing high quality by creating an attractive work environment for translators and reviewers. Straker is a privately owned company that has been financed primarily from its operations and revenue growth (which is pretty common among small to mid-sized companies in this industry).

In addition to their multilingual CMS, Straker also provides a well documented web API for software developers and clients who want to do custom integrations. This puts them in similar territory to companies like Gengo, Speaklike and One Hour Translation. Like other API translation services, this enables customers to embed highly automated professional translation into virtually any application or business process.

Best Fit

Customers who need a multilingual publishing solution, and who are open to using or migrating to a different CMS should seriously consider Straker Translations. This is their most interesting offer and makes them unique among service providers. One downside that must be noted is that the CMS is coupled to Straker’s services, so customers should bear that in mind. Normally I would recommend not using a proprietary CMS, but open source alternatives like Drupal are notoriously difficult to install and manage, especially for non-technical users. If Straker would open source a version of their CMS, it would eliminate that concern (hint).

Software developers who want to embed human/machine translation in their projects are also a good fit for Straker. Developers should also look at Gengo, Speaklike and One Hour Translation. It is not much effort to build connectors to these APIs, so I generally recommend integrating with several service providers, so you can switch providers depending on languages needed, quality requirements, etc. (Typically, service providers have certain languages they excel at and others they don’t, so being able to source from several is a big plus, and not much extra work to implement).

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