The Future of Language Translation?

January 20, 2012 in Daily Bulletin

Luis von Ahn, the creator of the reCAPTCHA system which websites use to protect against automated spambots and Google uses to have humans translate difficult to understand words in books, is working on a new initiative that aims to sell translation services to businesses. The New Scientist reports:

  • Individuals who hope to pick up a new language can go to Duolingo and get free language classes. After taking the classes the users are then given the opportunity to practice on their own by translating new sentences or rating the accuracy of other people’s translations
  • This information is then used to provide paid translation services for other individuals and businesses
  • To ensure that the translation is accurate multiple visitors are asked to translate the same sentence
  • Challenges for the service include the translation of idioms and languages such as Mandarin that have extremely nuanced meanings
  • With enough people the service is extremely fast. The site’s creators estimate that 1 million students could translate the entirety of Wikipedia in just 80 hours

To read more about how the service works, and what it’s future might hold click here.

Source: New Scientist

Via: Marginal Revolution