Google has launched a new tool to supplement its automated translating service Google Translate. The fresh product, called Google Translator Toolkit, aims at bringing a human touch to translations by allowing users to edit and enhance computer generated translations.
The tool enables anyone to upload a document, which can be HTML, Microsoft Word, and a number of other formats, enter the URL of a page they would like translated or even a direct entry from Wikipedia or Knol. Next, Google will generate an automatic translation showing it side by side with the original content. Users will be able to edit the automated translation correcting it where necessary and then click publish when done. The most interesting part is that the automated translation takes into account the changes made by the human editor and learns from them.
The toolkit also searches for previous human translations made for the document and if it finds any, they will appear under the Search Results tab. The next tab is the computer generated translation, which can provide a base for your work. If available, Google will also show glossaries with words or phrases to help maintain consistency across different translations of technical terms.
The feature offers dictionary search so you can look up specific words. An important element of the toolkit is the Wikipedia integration that the Wikimedia group itself has praised, which enables a very simple way of translating Wikipedia articles. This makes the Google Translator Toolkit a very important tool for the translation of Wikipedia's English articles to other languages.
The application may be helpful for a lot of people but it could help Google more than its users. The Google Translator Toolkit is a perfect way for its automated translating systems that are based on statistical algorithms to get first hand data from which it can 'learn.' And the thousands of Wikipedia articles being translated are a great way of accumulating that knowledge.