Google Blogoscoped

Tuesday, February 20, 2007

Suggest Translations to Google

When you use Google to translate a website into any of the Beta translations Google provides (Chinese, Russian, Japanese and more) and you then hover over any of the translated sentences, you can find a link reading “Suggest a better translation."* Clicking it slides open a suggestion box where you can enter your own translation. (Send it, and Google echoes a simple “Thank you for contributing your translation suggestion to Google Translate.”)

My guess is that Google uses these submissions to either automatically implement some “wisdom of crowds” into their machine translation efforts, or more likely, that they’ll treat this as a kind of bug report with which they can better judge their translation efforts, potentially tweaking their translation code.

At the moment, translating from e.g. Chinese to English often results in poor, completely cryptic texts – more than just “there’s a funny grammar error or two here” the translation makes you wonder “just what is this text about?”. It may be award-winning technology today, but that doesn’t make it good enough yet to be really usable.

Join the ongoing comments.

*I’m not sure if this feature is new.

[Thanks Keith Chan!]


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