Language Weaver - Neural Machine Translation

Our History

Language Weaver - Neural Machine Translation

Our history

Language Weaver was a pioneer in the field of machine translation and RWS is proud to restore the brand to its rightful place as an integral part of the world’s largest language services and technology company. 

Language Weaver combines our AI technology with our linguistic expertise to help businesses solve the ‘last mile’ in their machine translation journey

The journey

Language Weaver originated as a spin-out company from the University of Southern California in 2002. It took cutting-edge machine translation technology out of the research lab and into the hands of organizations with real-world multilingual data challenges. 

In a similar vein, Iconic Translation Machines originated as a spin-out company from Dublin City University in 2012, pioneering domain-specific machine translation and going on to be the first commercial provider of Neural Machine Translation in 2016. 

Language Weaver was acquired by SDL in 2010 and became the core of SDL’s machine translation software. 

Both organizations eventually joined RWS in 2020 and have begun to weave their journeys together. The path from the lab to powerful customer solutions has been a long and successful one for both teams and has led them back to the name ‘Language Weaver’.

The origins of the name

Language Weaver is a ‘tip of the hat’ to one of the father figures of machine translation — Warren Weaver. Dr Weaver first proposed the idea of using computers to ‘decode’ or ‘decrypt’ language in a famous memorandum back in 1947! 

The name also reflects how the technology works, as words in one language weave their way through the layers of a neural network to find meaning in another language. 

As SDL and Iconic weave their teams and technologies together, we are also weaving new solutions to today’s problems — providing cutting-edge language technology solutions to our customers.

Language Weaver today

Language Weaver is addressing the ‘last mile’ in machine translation by adapting the technology to the business challenge and the specifics of the content. We adopt a technology first, human optimised approach, where the human could be linguist, but could also be a subject matter expert in government, legal, or other enterprise, to solve their multilingual content challenges and to complete their journey.

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