WordFinder Translator Power Users
WordFinder, a leading software for instant dictionary lookups, owes much of its success to input from translators. As the most engaged users, their feedback directly shapes future product development. This symbiotic relationship enables WordFinder to serve translation professionals better worldwide.
The Genesis of a Game-Changing Idea
In the late 1980s, WordFinder founder Ola Persson recognized the need for an integrated dictionary while working abroad. As Persson describes:
I was too lazy to go to the bookshelf five six meters away I wanted to have the dictionary on the screen so instead I rewrote if there was a word I didn't know I rewrote the sentence with words that I knew so I just explained what I wanted to say.
Tired of disrupting his workflow to consult print dictionaries, Persson envisioned dictionary access directly on-screen. This sparked WordFinder's founding vision:
Why can't we have the dictionary on the screen at the same time when we are typing?
Integrating dictionaries into existing applications proved revolutionary. WordFinder's launch quickly attracted clients across Europe needing multilingual communication aids.
Technical Constraints Shape Innovation
In WordFinder's early days, scarce storage space posed obstacles. With most hard drives only 20MB, Persson recounts:
Our first dictionary was Swedish to English, only one direction…It was five megabytes on the hard drive. Most people only had a 20 megabyte hard drive. So it was a quarter of the hard drive to just install the software.
Despite hurdles, WordFinder persisted in improving dictionary delivery:
As Persson explains:
We had the software on one diskette and then the dictionaries on other diskettes…If Microsoft made a change, we could just throw that away, the program disk, and replace it.
By separating software from dictionary content, WordFinder insulated itself from external platform shifts. This technical flexibility enabled continuous delivery of the latest dictionaries.
Meeting Market Needs Through Partnerships
In its early years, WordFinder prioritized licensing deals to acquire premium dictionary content. Attending industry events worldwide, Persson signed agreements with major publishers:
I went to all these conferences for Frankfurt Book Fair, London Book Fair. sign agreements with publishing houses to get their dictionary into the portfolio.
These partnerships allow WordFinder to offer an unparalleled breadth of dictionaries. Users also benefit from regular publisher updates:
As soon as we update a dictionary, it will be uploaded to our server and it will automatically…download the new update for you. So you always have the latest version of the dictionary.
Power Users Drive Cutting-Edge Innovation
WordFinder's most engaged users are translators. As Persson notes:
Our power users are the translators. Absolutely.
Translators frequently request advanced capabilities to enhance productivity. Persson explains how their feedback informs development:
It's often translators that give you a request of new features so that we all the time can make it better and better and better. That comes from the translator.
Two recent major updates demonstrate translators' impact:
- Custom glossary importing: Enables users to upload terminologies from Excel or databases for integrated lookups
- Translation engine: Allows instant text translations using secure, in-app capabilities
By responding to translators' specialized needs, WordFinder unlocks value for diverse global users.
Expanding Horizons Through Partners
While WordFinder boasts an impressive footprint, expansion opportunities remain. As Persson notes:
So far, most of our clients are in Scandinavia and the Western Europe…We would like more corporations and schools and universities on the American market.
To penetrate new regions, WordFinder is forging partnerships for localized outreach and sales. Current targets include Poland, Turkey, and Japan.
The Future Holds Exciting Potential
With strong user feedback loops driving development, WordFinder's innovation shows no signs of slowing. Upcoming priorities include:
- Connecting the translation engine to custom glossaries for improved accuracy
- Expanding language coverage, particularly into Asian and Eastern European tongues
By continually enhancing capabilities, WordFinder aims to push boundaries in instant dictionary access.
Conclusion: A Model of Ingenuity and Collaboration
For over 30 years, WordFinder has delivered best-in-class dictionary integration. Central to its success is an unwavering commitment to user needs through:
- Technical excellence: Pioneering offline access and cross-platform compatibility
- Premium content: Licensing gold-standard dictionaries from leading publishers
- User-centric development: Closely partnering with translators to guide cutting-edge features
This symbiotic relationship between WordFinder and its power users enables the product to evolve with real-world demands. The approach has sparked game-changing innovation benefitting translation professionals worldwide. And with an exciting roadmap ahead, WordFinder's dictionary leadership shows no signs of slowing.
To experience WordFinder's capabilities firsthand, start a free 7-day trial today!
Listen to our exclusive Software Spotlight podcast as WordFinder founder Ola Persson joins the Software Spotlight podcast to discuss the origin and growth trajectory of his dictionary software company. Launched in 1990 to enable instant in-text dictionary lookups, WordFinder now provides access to 500+ dictionaries in 28 languages for 25,000+ business users. Persson credits strong user focus for WordFinder's expansion from a Scandinavian tool into a global SaaS leader.
Frequently Asked Questions
What capabilities does WordFinder offer?
WordFinder provides instant access to over 500 premium dictionaries in 28 languages. Key features include:
– Desktop applications for Windows and Mac with full offline access
– Mobile apps for iPhone, iPad, and Android
– Secure in-app text translations
– Custom glossary importing
– Cross-platform synchronization and backup
Can I try before buying?
Yes! WordFinder offers a free 7-day trial with full access to test capabilities before subscribing.
Who is WordFinder designed for?
WordFinder serves anyone needing instant, multilingual dictionary access. Popular users include
– Translators: Enhance productivity through specialized features
– Global corporations: Facilitates accurate communication across regions
– Government agencies: Supports precise terminology in sensitive documents
– Students/teachers: Boosts language learning through integrated lookups
What recognition has WordFinder received?
With over 500,000 users globally, WordFinder is the leading integrated dictionary solution worldwide. It has earned acclaim from PCWorld, CNET, and PC Magazine.