I, personally, do not believe that the future of translation is machine or software. However, I cannot deny that I use machine translation from time to time. In my opinion, the intention is important. If you intend to use machine translation as it is, this is unacceptable. Nowadays, some translation agencies pay more to proofreaders/editors than translators because they simply do not use translators 🙂 They rely on machine translation and corrct the mistakes afterwords. This is something I would not do because it is not quite professional- for now. Last week, I came across to an article telling the best online translation tools that can help you to get the gist of any document/website. As translators, we should also be aware of such initiatives. I want to thank Anna Heim for sharing this with us 🙂 Here is the list. If you want to read more, you can click the link at the bottom of the page.
According to the translation firm Smartling, native English speakers only represented 27% of the total Internet population in 2011. Yet, 56% of online pages are English-only. So how do we break language barriers online? Well, here are a few tools that can help you browse content in a language you don’t speak – pages of course, but also video and even speech.
Linguee, tapping into the translation memory
I find myself increasingly using Linguee as my top translation source, especially to look up for a specific expression – the kind of tasks at which tools such as Reverso usually fail. (…)
Google Translate, automatically translating the equivalent of 1 million books a day
No matter what purists may think of statistical machine translation, Google Translatefully deserves to be on this list. Of course, its results are still far from perfect at this stage, but there’s no arguing about it. How long would you have spent on a Japanese website without understanding Japanese if Google Translate didn’t exist? Yet, we now routinely find ourselves browsing foreign pages — because we care about their content enough to go past the translation’s imperfections. (…)
Worldwide Lexicon, leveraging your community’s skills to translate websites
Worldwide Lexicon hopes to get the best of both worlds, artificial and human. According to its founder Brian McConnell, it is very easy for bilingual speakers to spot and correct mistakes in an automatic translation. Hence its approach, which consists of finding people willing to use its plugin to proofread and improve machine translations of your website. (…)
Amara, crowdsourcing subtitles
While Amara shares many characteristics with Worldwide Lexicon, such as its open source and crowdsourced approach, there’s one big difference. It focuses on subtitles (it was previously known as Universal Subtitles). In practice, that means that it could make millions of hours of video accessible to people who don’t speak the original language in which they were recorded. (…)
Smartling and Easyling, competing for the website translation market
Smartling and Easyling may be competitors, but they have one thing in common: they hope to make high-quality translation available to any website owner. (…)
Transfluent, eradicating language barriers in social media
Transfluent is the youngest service on this list. Launched by the language community Xiha, its goal is to use human translators to translate social media messages in real time (see our previous story). It is a promising field, and one that traditional tools usually struggle with, due to the large amount of colloquialisms and abbreviations contained in your average tweet or Facebook post. (…)
Babelverse, disrupting interpretation
As you may remember, Babelverse officially unveiled its public beta during The Next Web Conference in Amsterdam last April. Yet, you may find it hard to believe that its service exists: doesn’t real-time speech interpretation sound like pure science-fiction? But if you are still having doubts, we can confirm that the startup has proven multiple times that its platform is fully operational.
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