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[12 May 2010 | No Comment | ]
Icelandic pronunciation

Google just announced on their translate blog that they have added pronunciation to a couple of languages – including Icelandic. Cool, finally we can pronounce our most favorite volcano Eyjafjalla the correct way. Sounds kind of funny but it’s the next step to their babel phone. Just wondering when they add more animal languages to their speech output. Oh, that reminds me of an ad that I just saw the other day – TomTom has just released a Darth Vader voice for their navigation system. Here’s the video:

Image credit: Wikimedia …

Language Technology »

[16 Apr 2010 | No Comment | ]
The longest gliding flight ever

While half of Europe is covered in ashes (OK, it is just a big ash cloud but nonetheless) air traffic has basically broken down. Apparently airplanes shouldn’t fly through the ashes as the engines might get destroyed. That got me curious of how the engineers know this. As (almost) always, it’s a proven fact: One of the most famous flights through volcano ashes was British Airways flight 9. Within minutes, all four engines stopped working, forcing the pilot to start a gliding flight. While he was trying to restart …

Language Technology »

[1 Apr 2010 | One Comment | ]
Google Translate gone WILD: Translate for Animals

As I have talked about the Google Translate functionalities a few times already I didn’t want you to miss out on the latest addition: Google Translate for Animals.
Quite a cool achievement, I would say. Now Google just needs to take over a few content databases so that it actually works out with the animal translation. How about this one? Actually, once Google is done with its street view project it could just reuse the cars to catch animal sounds. Anyway, here’s the video:

Nice idea, only that it is April Fool’s …

Language Technology »

[11 Mar 2010 | One Comment | ]
Google Translation part II

A recent article from the New York times discusses the way how Google tries to tackle the translation problem. I wrote about the Google babel phone idea a couple of weeks ago but I wanted to pick up the topic nonetheless. As the article points out Google uses sheer computing power to make automatic translations work. The first approach was to explain the computer all grammar rules of a language, combining it with a dictionary. Unfortunately it seems that there are just too many exemptions and people just don’t like …

Language Technology »

[10 Feb 2010 | 2 Comments | ]
Google “Babel” phone announced

I grew up with Star Trek. The first years I never wondered why Captain Picard and his crew could communicate with aliens without any difficulty. After all, the universal language is English, right? 😉 With the latest (and newest) episodes we know that the first Enterprise had a language specialist on board. And then the universal translator was invented. Now apparently Google wants to leapfrog innovation and build a phone that can translate at an instant, as I read in The Times the other day. Now, is that maybe why …

Language Technology »

[27 Jan 2010 | No Comment | ]

Just stumbled across another translation fail on failblog.org. It is really unbelievable how people just use automatic translation software and then crap like this happens. I vaguely remember one picture with a restaurant sign showing the name in the native language and the English translation being “This service is currently unavailable.” You could start laughing if it wasn’t so sad. Guys, get a professional translation, it’s not that expensive!

Language Technology »

[25 Jan 2010 | No Comment | ]
Twitter adds local search filter

Ever since Twitter started it has been very US- or English-focused. Even the international users often tweeted in English as the news/tweets are only of value if you understand them. After Twitter started with local language versions last year they have now apparently added a local trends feature, according to outspoken media. This move finally makes Twitter a truely localized tool as mainstream Internet users stay within their “language aura”. All successful international companies have really localized their regional sites, look at Google (obvious) but also Amazon, ebay, Facebook etc.
It …