Butterfly Network:

Translating 75,000 words in 10 days


How Butterfly Network leveraged Smartling to rapidly localize their platform in more than 10 languages.

Butterfly Network is a first of its kind point of care ultrasound (POCUS) company that has redefined ultrasound technology.

Because it doesn’t utilize ionizing radiation, ultrasound technology has increased in popularity over the last 10-15 years. But because the technology was previously expensive, it limited the number of people who could access it.

Butterfly Network’s founder Jonathan Rothberg wanted to apply his expertise in semiconductor technology to develop a safe, yet accessible imaging device, using ultrasound technology.

The result: Butterfly Network emerged from its cocoon with the first and only handheld ultrasound system built on a semiconductor chip that plugs into a mobile device - all for the cost of $2,000.

Butterfly has been able to deliver a revolutionary experience to people in need while realizing its mission of democratizing medical imaging.

The Challenge: Localize the UI in less than six weeks

When Brandon Fiegoli, Senior Product Manager at Butterfly Network, was tasked to build out the company’s international footprint, his initial localization strategy was focused on meeting all regulatory requirements, and then slowly expanding localized content to websites, apps, and marketing content to ensure customers had an experience native to their language.

When Butterfly Network first decided to expand into the worldwide market, they used a highly recommended and well-known translation company to translate documents and guides. Butterfly Network sent the translated documents to the countries and regions where they would be used in order to validate that they were sharing quality content with their users. The native speakers were not pleased with the translations and said the documents didn’t make sense.

Because Butterfly Network’s product has the potential to save lives it must meet rigorous requirements. It is essential that their customers have access to documentation, information, and a product interface that is in their native language.

Butterfly Network knew they had to find another partner to help them translate all their material. With only 6 weeks until launch date, Butterfly Network turned to Smartling for help.

It was a Friday afternoon in late August when we decided to make the switch. We had a launch deadline of October 1st. Smartling was ready to run along beside us in order to meet our launch goals. That weekend we sent emails back and forth to get the contracts signed, and by Monday morning we were all working together to meet our deadline. - Brandon Fiegoli

There was only six weeks before the committed launch date. Butterfly Network needed a tool or platform that would help them achieve this ambitious goal.

Additionally, the company had other important criteria that needed to be met when considering the right solution, including:

High-Quality Translations

Because Butterfly’s customers are medical professionals, all content that goes out from the company needs to be translated at the highest quality. All info needed to convey all medical information clearly and accurately.

Sophisticated Integrations

Butterfly Network’s ability to frequently update the software for the handheld ultrasound device is a major competitive advantage. To maintain this edge, they needed a platform that could be properly integrated into their complex engineering and product release workflows so they could continue to release software weekly, which is quicker than most companies in the medical device space.

Customer Support

Butterfly’s experience with other translation providers yielded negative results. Poor quality translations, poor communication, and lack of visibility and transparency into the translation process all contributed to the negative experience. The previous language service provider never asked for the tools that would enable Butterfly Network to be successful.

For Butterfly Network, having the right support team was essential for being able to localize their content as quickly and as effectively as possible.

The Solution: Smartling

Impressed with their technical integrations and their outstanding customer service, Brandon was confident that Smartling could help them deliver high-quality translations of their app UI in a very short timeframe.

Utilizing Smartling’s Translation Management tool, Brandon and the Butterfly Network team saw the following benefits:

Acceleration to market

In the first 10 days of using Smartling’s platform, 70,000 words were translated. This enabled Butterfly Network to successfully expand its product into 13 markets in six months. Because Smartling was able to meet every one of these tight deadlines, Butterfly Network was able to commit to rolling out their product to these international markets as promised.

Beyond the initial launch, Smartling has translated over one million words in the last 12 months for Butterfly Network.

Unlocking a new source of revenue

Prior to translating their UI content, Butterfly Network’s was only able to reach the English speaking market. Once they deployed their localization efforts, their revenue experienced double-digit growth, enabling them to realize an accelerated time to value with the investment in Smartling.

Superior customer support

Smartling’s Customer Engagement team was able to quickly onboard Butterfly Network on building out comprehensive linguistic assets as part of the translation preflight process.

Smartling not only asked for assets, such as style guides and glossaries but also provided an online portal that made it easy for Butterfly Network to own those assets and update them frequently.

The glossary is a living, breathing document. We update it regularly to ensure our translations are as accurate as possible. - Brandon Fiegoli

Partnering with the Smartling customer success and solution architecture teams, Butterfly Network was able to seamlessly integrate with Smartling’s API connections to automatically send and receive translated words efficiently.

Added clarity with Visual Context

The ability to easily provide visual context for Butterfly Network’s translations has been a game-changing feature for Butterfly Network. When Smartling’s translators are working on their translations in the CAT tool, they can access Butterfly Network’s glossary and ensure that they are staying within context.

For video subtitle translation, Smartling has the unique capability of providing visual context as well. Brandon notes that having the ability to see exactly where the strings are being placed and wrapped properly saves him and his team time from having to manually maneuver the text.

Smartling Dashboard creates easy workflow

One of Brandon’s main dashboards is his Smartling Dashboard. From the Dashboard, Brandon has quick access to project status, he can view each source string prior to authorizing the content for translation, and easily schedule deadlines (sometimes as soon as the next day, depending on the volume of the project).


What Brandon loves about Smartling’s TMS is the transparency it offers him in the entire localization process. Being able to see the upfront costs is essential for him to factor in his localization budget. And having visibility into the different timelines and workflows for each project allowed his team to prioritize and meet the critical deadlines for the global launch.

For the million words we’ve translated, Smartling has never missed a deadline. - Brandon Fiegoli

Download Smartling Overview