Lingo24, the Edinburgh-based translation company, is staking hopes for future growth on selling a software system intended to "turn the industry on its head".

The success of the strategy depends on defying the increased commoditisation of the £23 billion translation industry.

The Haymarket-based firm, founded by Christian Arno in 2001, employs 204 people worldwide and has an annual turnover of £7 million. Its new software platform, Coach - which has already won an award from a Seattle-based user's group including Google and Microsoft - is designed to streamline interaction with translation clients and, through meshing computer technology and the skills of professional translators, increasing the recruitment and skills of young linguists.

By integrating human translators to ensure quality, the new package works against a trend towards greater mechanisation caused by the increasing sophistication of machine translation of the sort widely available through applications such as Google Translate.

Machine translation is credited with cutting overheads and costs, and increasing the spread of multi-lingualism in smaller firms, but still falls far short of guaranteeing translation quality.

Lingo24 has spent 18 months and £1m developing the cloud-based Coach, which it seeks to establish as the "one pre-eminent platform for the industry". The firm has set a target of increasing turnover to £35m within three years on the strength of the new service.

Arno said Coach would "allow greater customisation, giving faster turnarounds and improving quality". It also allows new translators to gain experience while being mentored by qualified peers, thus giving new routes to qualified translator status and improving industry retention in a sector that suffers from low-pay for trainees.

The firm, which to date has grown through investing its own cash rather than relying on outside investors, is now "looking into all the options" for attracting backers. It is being advised by accountantcy firm, Johnston Carmichael.

Arno said: "We want Coach to put the translators at the centre of the universe in industry terms, an idea which really turns the industry on its head.

"The system represents customised quality and through it we're attempting to get more [translators] into the supply chain, providing a path for new translators to enter the industry, as if we don't allow [in] people with less than five years' experience, they will drift away."

"[The platform] allows recently qualified translators to progressively take on more complex tasks. Highly skilled specialist translators can put their knowledge to the best use and earn more per hour than they currently do."

A graduate in French and Italian originally from Aberdeenshire, Arno launched the company while at Oxford University during a study year abroad in Italy, establishing the firm full-time on graduation.

The company, whose clients include the UN, the World Bank and American Express, has 18 outposts around the world and draws on a network of 4000 linguists worldwide translating more than 65 million words a year. Much of its operation is outsourced to Romania, one of Europe's most multilingual countries, with other hubs in Panama, the US and the Philippines.