I just tried translating a page using Google Translate. I entered the URL, that by the way happens to be a blogger URL (Google’s own site) and hit translate. Google chrome simply acts bizarre and opens a million frames and eventually crashes on my face.
Google’s translation page has been my favorite after altavista and other older tools when it comes to translating pages and content. This is fast easy and convenient, but the results at times are not as correct as you expect. The human factor is missing and the results are not compliant with the norms of the language you translate into. At times the message gets translated, but the feel of the sentence or paragraph is not there.
How do you add a human touch to Google translation?
Google has launched Google Translator Toolkit to add this human touch to the automated translation. The idea is necessarily same as what Facebook did for its own site translation. Ask the users out there to help translate the site. But this time, its not about translating the labels, but its translating the whole web.
How it works
1. You select an article from Wikipedia (as their preferred set of pages) or simply enter a URL (any paeg on the web.
2. Translate the page using the Google translate engine
3. Now the toolkit shows the original and translated page side by side. The human translator can edit the automated translation to make it perfect.
These changes will help Google Translator engine learn the translation norms from the Human translators. The tranlation engine will then adopt these techniques when somebody translates the article later.
As discussed in our earlier post about Facebook Translations, Facebook is using community/society effort to get the social network translated completely. Today Facebook announced with the following message that its available in 57 languages. This means that Facebook family has completely translated the site in 57 languages already.
Following is the list of supported languages:
Ufone has launched its Urdu SMS services and that’s what I call convenience with simplicity. We all keep sending messages in roman Urdu but keeping in mind that the mobile usage has gone way beyond the very basic literacy level, we need solutions that keep things in Urdu or even use picture illustrations for getting a message through. As far as I remember, Ufone is not the first one to launch such translation service, for example Mobilink is already running their SMS translation services.
How it works
For all your message recipients, who cannot understand English script, Ufone has come up with this very useful yet simple service. Simply send a message to 424 written in roman Urdu and you will receive a response translated in Urdu text. If you want to send the message to someone else, type [recipient number] [space] [message in roman] and the service will attempt its best to translate it word by word in Urdu script.
To give it a shot I sent a simple message from a Ufone number to a non-Ufone one and it was delivered within a few milliseconds. Here was a simple test run:
Received at destination as:
Most cell-phones out there in the market do not have Urdu-keypad and do not have Urdu typing support in their firmware/OS, but they have capacity to display Urdu messages. In these circumstances, the service can be a hit.
The only problem in this service is the use of roman combination and users’ habits. Ufone has a software at the back end that is translating these English character combinations to Urdu. In case it doesn’t find your desired combination, or you spell a certain word differently, the translation will not work perfectly. For example I’ve seen people using “Hay”, “He”, “Hey” and “Hy” for the same word “ہے” in Urdu. But once people start using it, they will learn the right syntax. I was expecting a detailed guideline or user-manual on Ufone’s website, that I couldn’t find.
Each message translated will cost Rs. 2+ Tax. Here are the details: