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Google Translation Center, a New Human Translations Service in the Making  (View post)

Svetlana Gladkova [PersonRank 1]

Monday, August 4, 2008
11 years ago12,744 views

Great find, very interesting. Only last week I published a post about Google taking pride in not paying the translators at profy.com/2008/08/01/google-ta ... and now you show this new product. It's just amazing!

As a former translator myself I feel like they are going to compete in a number of fields: a workbench may develop in some kind of CAT (computer-assisted translation) tool with the term taken from the best-known one – Trados. And they may also look to challenge translation marketplaces like ProZ and a number of other players in the same field as well.

My suggestion is that Google has simply gathered a really huge database of translators who were willing to participate in the "Google in your language" program and now they are looking to make further use of it. But I'm not sure that anything good will grow out of it if everything is based on volunteers again.

Tony Ruscoe [PersonRank 10]

11 years ago #

I just noticed something in this screenshot:


blogoscoped.com/files/translat ...



It looks like one of the documents being translated is "Google Operating System.htm" (fifth item in the list).

Now is that Ionut's blog or an actual operating system...? ;-)

Also, here's Amit Singhal's website (who's referenced in a couple of the screenshots):

singhal.info/

Brock [PersonRank 0]

11 years ago #

Obviously this is a plan by Google to collect more translation data to improve their translation software. They ultimately want to return search results from all information sources throughout the world (regardless of the language of the searcher or the source), so they need more than just the official translations put out by the EU, the UN or some Universities. To get the obscure languages and the common idioms not found in official texts they need to open source the creation of translated documents that their software can learn from.

Tony Ruscoe [PersonRank 10]

11 years ago #

Brock, you've hit the nail on the head. That's the conclusion we also came to in the office.

Ian Davies [PersonRank 2]

11 years ago #

If their translation tools are good enough for a vast number of volunteers and professionals to use them, Google could end up with one of the biggest translation memories in the world... I hope that we as the translators would have access to it, as well as it being used for their own machine translation. This is a very exciting development!

/pd [PersonRank 10]

11 years ago #

This is going to be the babel tower of the internet!!

DPic [PersonRank 10]

11 years ago #

But isn't Google's ultimate goal to not rely on any human work for translations? The only time they use other people is for services like google help groups and also google q&a (the one that's only available in russia and somewhere else too, right?). I suppose when they reach that goal they could always shut down this service though-- or perhaps their automatic translation can always be better

Colnector [PersonRank 0]

11 years ago #

Personalized translations are currently the only way to go and it's about time that a worldwide translation memory comes into play as we're all moving forward to becoming more communicative in other languages.
I have long ago internationalized my site (colnect.com) and with an easy to use interface convinced users to aid in translating it to 25 different languages. You may read my blog post about it:
blog.colnect.com/2008/05/internationalizing-site.html

Freiddie [PersonRank 7]

11 years ago #

Why can't I sign into the website?

TOMHTML [PersonRank 10]

11 years ago #

[put at-character here]Tony : I noticied that too, about Ionut's blog! :-) I don't know if it is a plot or a nice surprise for Ionut...

Garry [PersonRank 0]

11 years ago #

The online translation market is experienced enough to deal with the big G. Websites like proz.com and freetranslation.com are going to feel the power of google but survive.

Websites that bring new energy and ideas (unlike google) to the translation services market like tomedes.com will have no problem to beat the big G in this field.

[unlinked URL]

Tony Ruscoe [PersonRank 10]

11 years ago #

And it looks like Google has remove everything from the translate.google.com/center directory, meaning dead links and images. The login pages are still there for the moment though (albeit minus the screenshots):

www.google.com/accounts/Login? ...
www.google.com/accounts/Servic ...

All files in the translate.google.com/center directory not redirect to www.google.com instead.

septemtrionis [PersonRank 0]

11 years ago #

Hi, I translated some parts of your post to Spanish and posted them here :
babel20.blogspot.com/2008/08/e ...

Just wanted to let you know ...

Philipp Lenssen [PersonRank 10]

11 years ago #

(I added an update in regards to the removed files...)

Brian McConnell [PersonRank 0]

11 years ago #

I think this is a smart move to provide translation service companies with utilities and APIs they can build around. Google is a platform company, and outside of its core search business, is not a big threat. Translation is a very fragmented and customer service intensive business, whereas Google is only competitive for highly automated, self-service applications.

The only people who will be threatened by this are translation service bureaus who overcharge for simply being a middleman, and try to hold clients and translators hostage with proprietary systems.

For example, we offer a multilingual blogging and RSS translation service, Der Mundo (www.dermundo.com). We already use Google MT in some cases to fetch rough drafts for user communities to edit. If Google provides an API for the translation center, we'll gladly use it rather than re-invent this.

Overall, I think it's a welcome development. I never liked the existing translation memory systems very much, but did not want to invest a lot of development time in building one in house.

Brian McConnell, Founder
Der Mundo / Worldwide Lexicon Project

Eduardo Sasso [PersonRank 0]

11 years ago #

The idea is good, but as always i dont like their UI. I've built a mashup using Google Translation services and Open Calais so i hope that they release some kind of API for this service too so i could integrate with my service....

tradd.us

[Unlinked – Tony]

Remai [PersonRank 0]

11 years ago #

Hello, very nice article, i also did an article, and i have included your screenshots and i mentionned it was from your website. It's a french blog. If you want me to take them off tell me. The link: google-live.fr/google-translation/de-la-traduction-via-
google-translation-center/

JP [PersonRank 1]

11 years ago #

You could have talked abuot www.cucumis.org , exactly the same thing since 3 years ago, and except there is not monay involved.
from my experience with cucumis, the most difficult part, is to be sure of the quality of the translations, as yuo pointed out in your article.

Lukas [PersonRank 1]

11 years ago #

[put at-character here]/pd Babel Tower of the Internet – i learned that Translation is a lot about Quality and Trust

a few months ago www.tolingo.com launched, quite a similiar idea than Google Translation Center – a Social Translation Community attached with helper like Dictionary's and an universal translation memory!

[Unlinked URL – Tony]

Benny [PersonRank 0]

11 years ago #

Similar service already exist, open for everyone – OneHourTranslation.com

This is a web service for people who need to translate their documents, fast and low-cost.
It is based on thousands of freelance translators all around the globe, monitored and rated for high quality results.

[Link removed – Tony]

Bryan [PersonRank 0]

11 years ago #

The problem with the services like onehourtranslation.com – is although it may provide a quick turnaround – writing style and quality cannot be guaranteed by splitting the document globally, unless of course there is an indepth review process... which streamlines the styles and terminlogy... which I doubt they have...
Consistency is key...

Janine [PersonRank 0]

11 years ago #

Great comments, Bryan. Quick turnaround often has a negative affect on the quality. Revision by a second translator and a proofreader are sacrificed for the sake of expediency. Unless it's a gist translation, people are wasting their money paying for bad work.

David Hetfield [PersonRank 10]

11 years ago #

See also here:
picasaweb.google.com/Doodle.Li ...

transleytan [PersonRank 0]

11 years ago #

I agree with Bryan. As far as quality is concerned you get what you pay for.

Ozaru [PersonRank 0]

11 years ago #

The new "TAUS Data Association" (q.v. www.proz.com/topic/110929 – founder members = various translation companies + Adobe, Cisco, Dell, eBay, Intel, Microsoft, Oracle, Sun, Yahoo etc.) is aimed at sharing linguistic data such as TMs. Interesting to see that Google is one of the big names missing from the list... now we know why. What about Apple, I wonder?

valeri [PersonRank 0]

11 years ago #

I 'm using onehourtranslation.com for a while and getting great results. the Google idea is basically the same and it looks to me like they really just looking to improve their MT (which is great)

Alizar [PersonRank 0]

11 years ago #

I agree with Benny, that different translators have different styles in doing translation. It will be difficult to have a good translation without indepth review process which takes longer time.

Alina [PersonRank 0]

11 years ago #

I believe that other than serving their own purposes, google's translation service will only be a really great tool. But as they're not responsible for the work being done by their translators and they cannot guarantee they are indeed good translators, businesses with a genuine interest in their image will want to work with a service that guarantees the quality of translations. They will still rely on other providers such as icanlocalize.com or others like them where they don't need to do a lot of research and interviews to make sure they got a good translator.

All the best,
Alina

Ionut Alex. Chitu [PersonRank 10]

11 years ago #

This is very interesting. Microsoft partners with LiveTranslation.com for human translations: livetranslation.com/microsoft/ ... , but they're very expensive.

I think Google developed the tools to translate its own services and then realized that they're good enough to be publicly launched.

Tony Ruscoe [PersonRank 10]

11 years ago #

Ionut, why do you say LiveTranslation.com are expensive? They're cheaper than many other professional translation services. (Especially for very small pieces of text.)

[Disclaimer: I used to work with the person that owns LiveTranslation.com]

Ionut Alex. Chitu [PersonRank 10]

11 years ago #

Translating the previous message from English to any of the available languages costs $7.45 (34 words/24 hours). For 252 words, you need to pay $48.

Tony Ruscoe [PersonRank 10]

11 years ago #

$0.19 per word isn't that expensive for professional translation.

Cookie Lee [PersonRank 9]

11 years ago #

Now you get the following information when you visit www.google.com/accounts/Servic ... :

Google Translation Center is for trusted testers only. Invited testers can sign in for a test drive.

Michael J. Asquith [PersonRank 0]

11 years ago #

I was hoping someone could tell me how you become part of the registry for professional google translators?

Thank you!

Best Regards,

Michael J. Asquith

[Signature and request for email reply removed – Tony]

Tony Ruscoe [PersonRank 10]

11 years ago #

Michael, Google has outsourced their translations to vendors they have selected themselves for the Trusted Tester phase. I don't believe you can apply to be included at the moment, but you should be able to once it's been officially released.

This thread is locked as it's old... but you can create a new thread in the forum. 

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