31 May 2012
Google announced on Wednesday that a beta update to the site translation plugin, launched in 2009, now allows site owners and readers to "polish up" machine translation of a web page by contributing their own translation. Up til this latest update, the translation plugin only allowed users to view machine translations of a given web page with no ability to publish alternative, read: better, translations.
Once a website sets up the plugin, users can choose the language they want to read the site in from over 60 possible languages. Then it's a simple matter of hovering the mouse over a sentence to see the original text, and clicking a button to provide a better translation. Site owners can translate their content themselves, or choose the best translations contributed by their readers.
This is an exciting development in online translation. This definitely validates the work we have been doing at Meedan with human-augmented machine translation in the browser; our work with IBM Research addressed this with the Transbrowser - which we use to translate blogs and news articles on Meedan's news site: news.meedan.net.
Using technology to overcome the language barrier is a core part of our mission at Meedan. We are thrilled to see Google taking the initiative to advance this field and provide this technology to the masses through over a million websites that already had the plugin installed.