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Smartphone App to Bridge ASEAN Language Barriers

Daniel Schearf

A Thai software company says it has developed a smartphone application aimed at overcoming language barriers among businesspeople in Asia.

ASEAN One, an app that promotes communications and business among countries in the Association of Southeast Asian Nations, will translate about a hundred useful phrases into the 10 regional languages and English.

The Thai company developing the software, iGnite Asia, says it is aimed mainly at frequent business travelers.

"The language would be the main theme, but, apart from language, you would have currencies, directories, map and everything," says CEO Jirath Pavaravadhana, adding that, if successful, its capabilities will expand.

Nataphol Pavaravadhana, head of marketing, says it will also be a useful tool for students learning the language of a neighboring country.

"We intend to penetrate the market by using the university connection, and another one is government support," he says, explaining that the company hopes ASEAN countries promote the application as a tool to help realize ASEAN’s goal of forming an economic community by 2015.

ASEAN One is expected to be released around June and will be paid for through advertising, making it free for consumers.

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