IM Translator SpeakLike Chats Up DEMO

One of the startups presenting at the DEMO meat market today in Palm Springs: NY’s SpeakLike, LLC which wants to offer nearly-instant language translation for instant messaging. The gist: You type a message in one language, SpeakLike’s software translates message, then a human editor tweaks the translation and sends it to your pal. The service, which is in closed beta, offers translations for Chinese, Spanish, and English users.

SpeakLike has an interesting array of plusses and minuses: It’s a currently designed as a proprietary system, which means anyone using AIM or any other IM client will have to switch out. But at a projected 10 cents a message fee, it might be worth it, given that professional translators charge about 15 cents a word.

SpeakLike CEO Sanford Cohen, who helped launch emergency text notification system Send Word Now 2001, founded his new company in 2006; it employs 6 plus a cadre of freelance editor/translators. Cohen says he’s funded the venture himself with some angel help.

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