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Automated translation software development company
Amazon Cemetery
Software & Hardware
Acquisition Flu


Safaba was an automated translation software development company founded in 2009. It was based in Pittsburgh, Squirrel Hill, and employed 12 people.

The name, Safaba, was a Hebrew word that translates to “language inside” which aligned with the startup’s services. The company automated the translation of digital content including marketing materials, software products, websites, customer communications, and more.

Safaba received support in its early days from the National science foundation and released its very first product offering in 2011. The company had some notable clients including PayPal and Dell Inc.


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Cause of Failure

In 2015, Safaba Translation Systems LLC was acquired by Amazon and is now known as Amazon Machine Translation R&D group, but the specifications of the deal were not disclosed.  Alon Lavie, research professor at Carnegie Melon and CTO of Safaba, later revealed the acquisition. He informed that Safaba had become a part of the Amazon family and he had been assigned to lead and manage the R&D group.

The Machine Translation R&D group was made to conduct research and develop automated translation services for Amazon’s digital solutions. The research conducted could have been used to localize Amazon’s diverse range of services for non-English speaking regions around the world. This may have helped Amazon bridge language barriers to make its services more accessible and approachable all over the globe. After being turned into the R&D group, Safaba no longer retained its brand name.


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