Tag Archives: 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 machine that …

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Speaking in tongues: how the crowd is transforming translation

Posted on by Jani Penttinen

… 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 numerous …

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Duolingo Beta put to the test: can you learn a language while translating the web?

Posted on by Tommaso De Benetti

… simple sentences. At any time I could hover on each linguistic particle to see a suggested translation.

I was then introduced to a skill tree, which some gamers out there will be used to, but is novel in a language teaching context.

Upon starting the first “lesson” (“exercises” would be a better term for what they are in practice), three familiar hearts appeared on the top right of the window. This is a way to check quality: if you lose all three you must …

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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 …

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The Italian Job

Posted on by Tommaso De Benetti

… struggle is the habit of dubbing popular TV shows and movies into their native tongue.

Lost in Translation

Take for example the situation in Italy, which I am personally familiar with. The Italian Dubbers’ Union might pride itself as being the best in the world, but it seems clear that their expertise contributes to the linguistic shortcomings of their countrymen. Compare the average Italian’s English skills with the average person from Scandinavia for example – where programs and …

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