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February 10, 2014 3:18 pm

Israeli App ‘One Hour Translation’ Proves Popular at Sochi Olympics (VIDEO)

avatar by Joshua Levitt

One Hour Translation.

One Hour Translation logo.

The UK’s Telegraph newspaper recently featured several mobile phone apps that were gaining popularity because of extensive use by tourists at Russia’s Sochi Winter Olympics. Included among them was Israel’s One Hour Translation.

“Seen a sign or a slogan written in a foreign language you wished you understood? One Hour Translation’s Twitter hub will be providing free, on-demand Twitter translation services in over 70 languages in real time throughout the Games,” the Telegraph wrote on Monday.

“Users are asked to tweet @OHT an image of the text or the phrase you’d like translated along with the language you’d like it translated into, to receive a reply from a professional translator. For example, ‘@OHT Where is the bobsleigh track? English – Russian.'”

Last week, the Israeli start-up announced the completion of its first funding round, having raised $10 million from venture capital firms, including Fortissimo Capital, managed by Yuval Cohen, who also backed carbonated drinks maker SodaStream and other high-profile start-up successes from Israel.

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The investment will fund the expansion of OHT’s translation services and translation services sites, mainly through hiring more translators.

According to a profile published by Geektime, OHT takes on small projects that can be translated for customers within an hour. Its world-wide customer base includes Coca Cola, the U.S. Army, IBM, Strauss, El Al and Comverse. While the company does not publish its pricing model customers can contact the company and get a quote and an estimated time frame for projects within a relatively short amount of time, Geektime said.

“The goal is to significantly increase the expansion of the service we provide throughout the world and to become the largest online translation service in the world,” OHT CEO Ofer Shoshan said in an interview with Geektime.

“Today’s traditional programs are those old translation services who hold a majority of the market share. We actually tell them, ‘Let’s make it more quick and efficient by doing it online.’ To date, we have grown organically without raising investment and have managed to become one of the two largest translation services operating online. Fortissimo’s investment will allow us to grow much more quickly and become the largest professional translation service in the world,” he said.

Watch a video of how OHT works below:

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