Wolfgang Geiger (I) started Pinhok and as a result Pinhok Languages on the back of an idea which got accelerated by the frustration with the lack of proper Cantonese language learning material. Through various iterations Pinhok Languages’ products arrived where they are today.
I am web developer at trade running my company Wohok Solutions in Hong Kong. Pinhok Languages is part of that company and started out as a side project. The success of the books published, however, made the side project slowly progress into becoming the main product and brand of the company which luckily allows me to spend more and more time on it today.
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All learning materials available on Pinhok Languages have been, at the core, produced by at least two native speakers. They translate the basic list of vocabularies from English into their native language. Translators aren’t perfect, so I have two doing the same work each time to later on allow for comparison and manual optimization by myself (as a non-native speaker).
Today I hire most native speakers on a project basis through Fiverr. Without Fiverr it would have been very difficult for me to scale this project at the pace I currently do, both from a management and cost point of view.
Automatic translation services aren’t used for translating material as such but are used in the process of checking and verifying translations made by native speakers. It’s a great way to filter out typos and semantic misunderstandings where e.g. an English word might mean several things causing problems for word-to-word translations.
Finally, Pinhok Languages as such would not have been possible without today’s great services provided to indie-publishing platforms around the world. As such, a big thanks goes to Amazon for its two services Amazon KDP and Createspace as well as Smashwords for making this project possible. Even though they’re not directly involved in the day-to-day process in the company, their services are a key part of why Pinhok works and given the great work their employees provide, I do, somehow, also consider them to be a part of Team Pinhok.
In traditional terms, Team Pinhok is a one-man team. On other terms, it’s one person managing a team of freelancers and utilizing services provided by companies around the world via the internet. I like to think of Pinhok Languages as a very streamlined operation that tries to stay as efficient as possible. This post’s main purpose is to give you, as reader and customer, a quick glimpse behind the curtain what people and services contributed and still contribute to the final products and the Pinhok brand as such.