Google Translator Toolkit Adds Human Touch to Google Translate
Article by George Norman
On 10 Jun 2009
Machine translations, as you may very well know, are far from perfect and my favorite example to prove just how wrong machine translations can go is BlahblahFish. The BlahblahFish web page shows you just what can happen when you use machines to translate something from English to another language and then back again. The problem that Google identified with machine translations is that they lack a human touch.

Google Translator Toolkit team members, Michael Galvez and Sanjay Bhansali, comment: “At Google, we consider translation a key part of making information universally accessible to everyone around the world. While we think Google Translate, our automatic translation system, is pretty neat, sometimes machine translation could use a human touch. Yesterday, we launched Google Translator Toolkit, a powerful but easy-to-use editor that enables translators to bring that human touch to machine translation.”


The two also provided an example in order to make us understand the usefulness of the Google Translator Toolkit. If a German-speaking user wants to translate a Wikipedia article from English to German, all he has to do is load that article into Translator Toolkit and then simply correct the errors the machine did. There are plenty of tools to help with that: translation search, bilingual dictionaries, ratings, and for the pros there is also terminology and translation memory. When the task is complete you simply click a button and publish the translation – this functionality is due to the fact that Google Translator Toolkit is integrated with Wikipedia. Google Translations Toolkit also provides integration with Knol and support for HTML and Word documents.

According to the Google Translator Toolkit Team, the whole translation process must generate a “virtuous cycle.” Michael Galvez and Sanjay Bhansali again: “Our automatic translation system ‘learns’ from corrections, creating a virtuous cycle that can help translate content into 47 languages, or over 98% of the world's Internet population.”

If you would like to get started with Google Translator Toolkit, please click here.
If you would like to watch a demo of Google Google Translator Toolkit, a video has been posted on YouTube here.

Tags: Google, Google Translate, Google Translator Toolkit
About the author: George Norman
George is a news editor.
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