Tag Archives: machine translation


Crowdsourcing and machine translation: the start of a beautiful friendship

Posted on by Hannu I. Miettinen

Machine-aided translation is one of those things people love to hate. Despite the best efforts of enthusiasts like myself, the majority of computer users still believe that machines are useless translators.

The whole area of machine translation has a terrible image problem. There are endless jokes and “true” stories about computer translation failures. Some of these are very funny (like the …

Tags: Application programming interface crowd crowdsourcing English language google Google Translate Maamme machine translation microwork Wikipedia William Shakespeare

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Speaking in tongues: how the crowd is transforming translation

Posted on by Jani Penttinen

… as an application for a foreign visa or an instruction manual for a product to be sold overseas.

Machine translation, such as Google Translate, has been around for a few years, but quality is still an issue. It is a great tool when you personally need to understand some foreign text, but it falls far short of the standard required for publishing.

Enter the crowd

In the last year translations have entered the era of crowdsourcing, transforming the industry profoundly. There are now …

Tags: Application programming interface crowd crowdsourcing English language Facebook Google Translate Moses translation Twitter

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Look Who’s Talking

Posted on by Ville Miettinen

… mere mortals, who prefer to watch our foreign movies with subtitles, the ongoing effort to improve machine translation is a noble cause. Although I secretly enjoy being able to do at least one thing better than my computer, even I can see the upside. Imagine a world where everyone could understand each other. The potential for economic and social progress is enormous.

If my computer does ever manage to translate something better than a human translator can, it will deserve my respect. Even …

Tags: crowdsourcing machine translation translation

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Language Lessons: translating the global conversation

Posted on by Ville Miettinen

… all this progress, one area where machines have traditionally struggled is language translation (remember the bad old days of Alta Vista’s Babel Fish?).

The problem is that human languages are too complex to be easily broken down into computer-proof algorithms. However, as we’ve discussed before, machine translation is now starting to evolve. Google, in particular, has pioneered new techniques that work by using cloud computing to trawl through and analyze huge numbers …

Tags: Alex Edelstein CloudCrowd crowd crowdsourcing crowdsourcing platform distributed work Facebook iPad LinkedIn translation Twitter Xiha Life

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See hear: crowdsourced subtitles for everyday life

Posted on by Ville Miettinen

… research team, led by Walter Lasecki, instead rely on Mechanical Turk users to provide live translation for a fraction of the cost, day or night.

As well as helping deaf people navigate the noisy world, this crowdsourced transcription system is perfect for travelers who don’t speak the local language. The researchers plan to launch a smartphone app called Legion:Scribe this October, which will help you pay too much for souvenirs in almost any language you can think of.

The …

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