New social network reflects today’s multilingual reality (XIHA)

Helsinki-based XIHA claims to be this planet’s first truly multilingual social network. “Multilingual” in that you can view all content in up to 56 languages and counting, while you enjoy the user interface in 42. Facebook, LinkedIn, and Twitter also offer content in many languages.

XIHA (pronounced “see-ha”) stands out from the social media pack in several ways:

* Multilingual, not multi-language.
* Instantaneous cross-language social networking.
* Harmonization of machine and human translation.
* Payment for multilingual content created by professionals. XIHA’s translator profile values domain expertise and creative writing ability over translation skills. However, to its credit, it pays translators actual money. This strategy will enable XIHA to avoid repeating the experience of LinkedIn, which became the target of outrage when it encouraged translators to offer their services on a volunteer basis.
* A user base with extreme geographic diversity. According to its marketing materials, XIHA community members live in more than 200 countries.
* Recognition that multilingual is the new monolingual.