Wednesday, May 18, 2011
Posted by Craig Horlacher in "Android Talk" @ 04:00 AM
"One of the things high on Google's to-do list was translation, rendering the billions of words appearing online into the native language of any user in the world. By 2001, Google.com was already available in twenty-six languages. Page and Brin believed that artificial barriers such as language should not stand in the way of people's access to information."
About six months ago I had a network storage device loose its configuration for some reason. The default language wasn't English or anything similar. I was a little worried when I couldn't understand anything in the web interface and didn't know how I would change it back. But I was using Chrome at the time and I noticed a notification pop up at the top. Chrome was telling me it didn't think this page was in my native language and it offered to translate it for me. I chose yes and Chrome turned it all into English. It may not have been a perfect translation but from what I remember it was very good and it made it pretty easy for me to find the option to change the language back to English.
That's just one example of how Google is very serious about language translation and how that fact has already helped me out. Gizmodo has a great article about how and why Google got so serious about translation. With resources available to Google they have been able to do some amazing things with translation even related to languages they don't have native speakers of. The Google Translate app for Android is evidence of their work and the fact that a real universal translator may be possible one day. I would love to hear what you think about the article. Are you excited about the possibilities or scared of computers becoming too "smart"?