Think of it as the developer’s equivalent of being able to speak in tongues. Today IBM announced a new cloud-based service that enables developers to automatically translate cloud and mobile apps into the world’s most-spoken languages.

The IBM Globalization Pipeline, now available in beta on Bluemix, IBM’s Cloud platform, is intended to help companies compete in new global markets without requiring them to rebuild or redeploy their apps.

According to IBM, the beta version of Globalization Pipeline supports English as the ‘base’ language, but translates to nine additional languages: French, German, Spanish, Brazilian Portuguese, Italian, Japanese, Simplified Chinese, Traditional Chinese, and Korean.

“Consumers in today’s globalized, digital marketplace expect a user experience that can be easily tailored to their unique needs, including their preferred language,” the firm said in its announcement.

As proof, IBM cited a 2014 survey by Common Sense Advisory of more than 3,000 consumers in 10 non-English speaking countries. That survey revealed that 75 percent of non-English speaking consumers prefer to buy products in their native language. Sixty percent rarely or never buy from English-only websites, the firm noted.

“For retailers and companies with consumer-facing apps, this service helps meet the criteria for expanding customer reach and loyalty in today’s fastest growing markets – in which shoppers are increasingly turning to online and mobile experiences,” IBM says. “By automating translation of all text seen by an app’s user, Globalization Pipeline lets developer teams focus on core activities and avoid the time- and resource-intensive tasks traditionally associated with software translation, such as setting up translation processes, managing translation vendors, and rebuilding and redeploying apps whenever there is a translation update.”

According to IBM, this is achieved by “integrating quick and efficient app translation into continuous delivery processes (DevOps), a collaborative, agile methodology which allows teams to rapidly build and update apps.”

Among the key features of IBM’s Globalization Pipeline service for Bluemix include:

• Machine translation combined with human post-editing capabilities, which are intended to help ensure quality and consistency.

• Support for a variety of app source file formats.

• A comprehensive set of open source software development kits (SDKs) which the firm said enable developers to update translations transparently without having to rebuild or deploy their apps.

IBM launched Bluemix with a $1 billion investment in 2014. It subsequently grew to become the largest Cloud Foundry deployment in the world, the firm noted. The open-standards-based Bluemix catalog includes over 120 tools and services spanning categories of big data, mobile, Watson, analytics, integration, DevOps, security, and the Internet of Things.

More information about the IBM Globalization Pipeline is available on the Bluemix blog.

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