Google Translator Toolkit

Google is moving too fast and is ahead of all in the search industry. There is no one who has the mettle to compete with the search giant, at least for now. What others are doing now, Google has already achieved a name in that domain. Now it is busy experimenting with the new concepts and innovations which can revolutionize the search industry and break free the flow of information across all the channels.

Over the past few months we all have noticed the new changes that Google has made in its algorithms as well as search interface. First it rolled out new features at Google Searchology, then at Google I/O the demo launch of Google Wave and now it’s Google Translation Toolkit. Google has launched its new translation toolkit which is better than its earlier translation tool and far better than the other translation services available online.

The striking feature in the new translation tool is the ability to add human touch to it. But the question arises, why a new translation method is required? Any person who has used the translation services can easily answer this question. It is primarily because the translations were quite often flawed. The tools were able to translate the word from one language to the other but many a times it was not possible to translate the meaning or the context which made the translations irrelevant.

Michael Galvez and Sanjay Bhansali of Google Translator Toolkit team sum up the tool as:

“For example, if an Arabic-speaking reader wants to translate a Wikipedia™ article into Arabic, she loads the article into Translator Toolkit, corrects the automatic translation, and clicks publish. By using Translator Toolkit’s bag of tools – translation search, bilingual dictionaries, and ratings, she translates and publishes the article faster and better into Arabic. The Translator Toolkit is integrated with Wikipedia, making it easy to publish translated articles. Best of all, our automatic translation system “learns” from her corrections, creating a virtuous cycle that can help translate content into 47 languages, or over 98% of the world’s Internet population.”

Let us see what exactly human touch means in the new tool. To add the human touch, Google has implemented a novel concept of Translation Memories (TM). It is nothing but a database of human translations. As the user translates the sentences, the tool searches for previous translations which are similar to the new ones. If the two match, the previous ones are shown to the user which helps in saving time and also avoids unnecessary duplication of the content.

Presently, the translator toolkit is integrated with Wikipedia and Knol and supports the following formats:

• HTML (.html)
• Microsoft Word (.doc)
• OpenDocument Text (.odt)
• Plain Text (.txt)
• Rich Text (.rtf)

The translator toolkit has a clean interface with very few options which makes it quite simple to use for everyone. It also has the glossary and dictionary options which can be associated with the translation process, in case the user wants his/her own dictionary to be looked upon.

Google has always stood for the free flow of information and has believed in making available the world information accessible to each and every person. The new translation tool is definitely going to transform the language translation process and with the growth of global translation memories, it may even provide near-to-human quality translation to the users.