Thursday, March 18, 2010

Are machines ready to break down language barriers?

Rapid changing world has shown many revolutionary changes , Even then in this fast paced changing technology has many barriers:

We as human's can't speak all the languages , as it is far out of reach and is such a impossible task But that gap is narrowing as online translation services advance, GOOGLE translator reports has shown that many people around the world are curious to translate the laguage and communicate with other mind through that . Recently launched website Meedan translates Arabic-language news stories into English, and vice versa, and displays the two versions alongside each other. Comments in either language are instantly translated. A new site for bloggers, called Mojofiti, automatically makes posts available to readers in 27 languages. And Google now has a tool that will eventually allow anyone with a camera-phone to photograph, say, a German restaurant menu, send the image as a multimedia message to Google's servers, and get an English translation sent back to them. These services are helping the gen world wide .
All these services ultimately rely on a technique called statistical machine translation, in which software learns to translate by using brute mathematics to compare large collections of previously translated documents. It then uses the rules it has learned this way to determine the most likely translation in future. "Whenever there is a possibility of the language barrier preventing someone from doing something there should be the possibility to translate," says Franz Och, who leads machine translation research at Google. His team's Translate service can currently operate between 52 different languages and he is aiming to add more, that will be interesting to know what more languages they add and on what critarea, especially those previously ignored by machine translators. "A speaker of Bengali can only experience a tiny fraction of a per cent of the web," says Och. Though translation algorithms have improved, some human intervention is still needed to provide a translation that reads well. Meedan's news articles, for example, are machine translated and then tidied up by editors. Google's Toolkit for professional translators produces a machine translation for them to tidy up, in the process providing feedback to the software to improve its translation capabilities. With the right help even someone that speaks only a single language could produce results as good as those of a professional, says Philipp Koehn of the University of Edinburgh, UK. His service, Caitra, outputs several possible phrases if it is uncertain which one is correct. This lets a monoglot user fix garbled phrases that would otherwise be unfathomable without reading the original.


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