Qordoba Arabic translation service launches
Service is web-based, features 400 translators and editors in 30 countries
A new web-based Arabic translation and editing service called Qordoba, has launched online and features 400 pre-screened translators and editors in 30 countries and 15 time zones.
The company, which is based in the UAE, has already gained international clients in both the government and private sectors.
According to Qordoba, its Arabic translation services undercut traditional agencies by 30 to 50%, depending on the deadline requirements.
"Today, the drivers of growth come from outside the English-speaking world," said May Habib, Qordoba founder and CEO. "At the same time, the Arab world is under-equipped to bring quality Arabic language content and innovative software to global audiences. We want to make accessing new markets fast as well as affordable."
Qordoba's proprietary automated workflow and language tools accommodate high-volume translation customers, upwards of one million words per month of human-quality translation, as well as customers seeking to translate websites and software applications.
"Our goal is to shape an online content creation community," said Darine Sabbagh, head of Qordoba's community relations. "We want our writers and editors to feel like they are coming to work when they log in to our platform. This is the best way to deliver the highest quality translations to our customers."
Habib, a former Lehman Brothers investment banker, believes freelance work for knowledge workers like translators, copywriters and editors will become a permanent feature of developing-world economies.
"Developed economies in recovery are seeing that up to 50% of new jobs being created are in fact freelance jobs," she said. "I think that especially in the Arab world this labour model will be a key driver of job creation over the coming years. Post-Arab Spring, you'll have millions of young people forced to look beyond the government for economic security."
Leading computational linguist and scientist at the Centre for Computational Learning Systems at Columbia University, Dr Mona Diab, is Qordoba's senior adviser for language technologies and sits on the Board of Directors.
Qordoba raised an angel round of financing from current and former partners of Intel Capital, CMEA Capital and the Mubadala Development Company. Angel investors also include the CEO of Aramex, Fadi Ghandour.
The company currently has team members in Abu Dhabi, Dubai, Beirut, Cairo, Damascus, Amman, Toronto and New York.