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Translating PHP apps using Tr8n, an open & crowd sourced translation framework

  • Jan 28, 2014 · 7:00 PM

Michael Berkovich presents Translating PHP applications using Tr8n, an open-sourced, crowd-sourced translation framework.


7:00PM Meet, Greet & Eat

7:30PM Main Presentation

Followed by Q&A


One of the key challenges Michael faced at Geni was to incorporate a technology into the site that would allow Geni to be translated to over 70 languages and use Geni's multilingual user base for ongoing translations. 

After evaluating a number of solutions and not being satisfied with any of them, a custom solution was developed. The custom solution was named Tr8n and was based on a Ruby on Rails plugin gem architecture.

Tr8n was so powerful and so successful that other companies expressed interest in adopting it. Geni open-sourced Tr8n in 2010 and made it available to other companies.

Since then, Tr8n engine was developed into an SDK library, which is now available in Ruby, PHP, JavaScript, Objective C and (soon) Java. 

This presentation will focus on Tr8n for PHP and Translation Markup Language (TML) used by the Tr8n engine for tokenizing dynamic content. 

During the presentation, we will build a simple PHP application, integrate Tr8n for PHP SDK, use TML to mark which strings require translations, and translate them to a few foreign languages using an inline translator. 

If you speak a foreign language, your participation and help with translations is encouraged. 

To get a head start and learn more about TML, visit the following link.


Michael Berkovich, Founder of

Before starting, Michael was one of the key engineers at, a family based social networking site that aims at building a family tree of the entire world.

At Geni, Michael developed some of the core features of the site, including Geni's newsfeed engine, payment system, API platform and crowd-sourced translation technology. 

While at Geni, Michael helped to spin off Yammer Inc, which was acquired by Microsoft in 2012. Later same year, Geni was acquired by MyHeritage Inc. 

Prior to Geni and Yammer, Michael was a lead engineer at Digital Evolution and SOA Software.

COMPANY provides a powerful software solution for managing crowd-sourced translations of web and mobile applications.

If you want to learn more about Tr8nHub, look at the following links:

Tr8nHub  - Translation Exchange Service

Tr8n Source Code

Tr8n Wiki - is also an example of Tr8n for MediaWiki

Tr8n Blog - is also an example of Tr8n for WordPress

Sandbox Server

Rails sample application

PHP sample application

Geni Goes Global With 20 New Languages And A Crowdsourced Translation Tool

Yammer Now Available in Dutch, French, German, Japanese, Korean, and Spanish

Yammer in Translation


QConnects is connecting us up with food and beverages so we don't listen to a great talk on an empty stomach :)

Q is a Technology Talent Acquisition Company which was founded to provide increased quality of service and exceed client expectations by placing talent into compatible company environments. Our goal is to find great opportunities for our talent and quality talent for our clients. We understand that Time, Value and Money are important factors in selecting an acquisition partner. Therefore, our aim is to provide this to our clients through our uncompromising commitment and efficient service.


Yet again, big thanks to our friends at CoLoftAvesta, Cameron & Gang for hosting us!  Don't miss also their Coloft Academy -- a business and tech training curriculum for startups.

Coloft is a community and work space focused on empowering entrepreneurs,startups, & freelancers.


Television Four, located in the heart of Hollywood, is a broadband television programming and production company. TV4's mission is to feed your passion with great storytelling delivered to any screen, anywhere. TV4 are filming tonight's meetup.


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  • Michael B.

    If you have any questions about Tr8n or how it could be integrated into your own application, please don't hesitate to contact me: [masked]

    January 30, 2014

  • Michael B.

    Here is the source code of the sample application I used during the demo:

    January 30, 2014

  • Caroline R.

    Here are the slides from Michael's presentation:

    January 30, 2014

  • John B.

    Great presentation - very detailed and clear - !

    January 28, 2014

  • Dennis

    Excellent talk. Very good, knowledgeable speaker. Thanks to Michael for the Tr8n presentation and Oleg for organizing the event. Looking forward to try it out myself.

    January 28, 2014

  • Ray


    January 24, 2014

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