Breaking: Google Launches Translator Toolkit, an AI and Crowed Sourced Collaborative English Translation App Supporting 43 languages Including Arabic.

10 Jun, 2009

Updated.
Google’s new product” Translator Toolkit” is an awesome product for anyone involved in translating from English to any of the 43 languages it currently supports, including Arabic. Because it is a smart and a faster translation SaaS based suite that is free for anyone to use, and I’ve never seen something like it elsewhere.

Unlike Google Translate which is a machine based, Google Translator Toolkit enables you to use its WYSIWYG editor to edit the machine translation, invite people to collaborate with in your translation efforts, use  transliteration from English to 10 languages including Arabic and many more features. The big thing in the Toolkit is that the translations it offers it is a mixture of  Artificial Intelligence (AI) and  crowed sourced translation.  It can learn from everyone’s corrections and translations, thus as more translators start to use it gets smarter and more accurate, saving you time and effort.

To use in translation with Google Translate Toolkit you can upload up to 1MB for free of Word documents, OpenOffice, RTF, HTML, text, Wikipedia articles and knols or any webpage , when you finish uploading, it automatically pretranslate your document as follows:
1. It divides your document into segments: sentences, headers, or bullets.
2. It searches all available translation databases for previous human translations of each segment.
3. If any previous human translations of the segment exist, it pick the highest-ranked search result and ‘pretranslate’ the segment with that translation.
4. If no previous human translation of the segment exists, it uses machine translation to produce an ‘automatic translation’ for the segment, without intervention from human translators.

Then you can start using WYSIWYG editor a workspace where you can see the original document on the left side if you are using vertical panel or down the page if using horizontal panel. However when I used the editor after I added a webpage from ArabCrunch, the vertical panel did not work well on Chrome but it did great on FireFox.
To quickly distinguish human translations from machine translation,  Google Translator Toolkit uses a gray font for all segments that were originally pre-filled with human translation.

To start editing you click anywhere in the translated page and you will see a box which Google calls
“Translating segment” and the editor will highlight the corresponding segment in the original document in the left panel. This feature eliminates the need to copy and paste the English sentence into a word document and start translating underneath it.

Google Translator Toolkit also offers an automatic transliteration (called Ta3reeb) option for converting Roman characters to Arabic or the Indic characters used in Bengali, Gujarati, Hindi, Kannada, Malayalam, Marathi, Nepali, Tamil, and Telugu. However when I tested it in Arabic it had a problem: you cannot edit manually the word you checked, it only shows you the matching Arabic option. The good thing you can turn transliteration off, which was better off for me. Update 2: Yamli does a better Arabic transliteration job, you can edit easily and it is more accurate, I hope Google ditch Ta3reeb and start using Yamli instead.

The other neat thing I found in the toolkit is “finding and replacing text”, So for example when I used the toolkit to translate “Inside Jo” post on ArabCrunch, it translated the company name into Arabic ” داخل الأردن” but I want to replace ” داخل الأردن” into the English name of the company: “Inside Jo”, so I used the “finding and replacing text” which sounded accurate.

If you are confused about the exact meaning of a specific word, you can use the ToolKit’s “Dictionaries and Glossaries” feature in the” toolkit tab” Dictionaries contain translations coming from Google’s database of multilingual terms, it shows the different meanings of the word.  To use it you need to click show toolkit and then click the dictionary tab. while Glossary translations are crowed sourced from Google Translator Toolkit users. And unlike dictionaries using glossary is more automated: As you translate each segment, the toolkit will highlight the glossary match in the segment if it finds it, to view the translation Hover your mouse over the over the glossary match or click the Glossary. But as Google toolkit is just launched you won’t find now many matches in the glossary.

Glossaries also support bulk-upload of terminology for use with your translations. However they should be stored in a comma-separated value (CSV), UTF-8 format file and each uploaded glossary can be up to 1MB per upload  and you can upload up to 1GB of glossaries per year.

Sharing, publishing and collaboration features in Google Translator Toolkit are also important and time savers for translators.  You can invite many people easily by entering their email address inside the toolkit or workspace and set the permissions they can do with your document : edit, comment or just read. This feature replaces the manual process of having to compare and consolidate each individual translated files, if more than one person is collaborating in translating a document. Instead, collaborating translators can work and edit now a single document.

You and  your team can also insert comments alongside your regular translation and they will be visible to other translators working on the document. Comments are a great way for communicating with collaborators about specific parts of the translation, as well as making notes about changes you’ve made or would like to make. (I expect the collaboration feature will be real time when Google revolutionary real-time collaboration platform “Google Wave” will go public.

When you finish your translation you can publish the document –toolkit auto saves while you work – to Wikipedia or Knol or download it to your hard drive. Though the downloaded format can only be the same as uploaded document ‘s native format. I hope Google will enable format conversion in the toolkit, If they offer an API,  the popular conversion website  “YouconvertIt “ for example can be integrated and finish the job.

As in translating from English into another language is not based on-word-by-word translation but is more based on the understanding of a sentence. Google has an advanced feature called Translation Memory (TM) which is a database of human translations. TMs are saved once you finish translating documents in Google Translator Toolkit. TMs will show in real time as Google help says:  Google automatically search all available translation memories for previous translations similar to your new sentence. If such sentences exist, it ranks and then shows them to you. By default, the toolkit saves your translations to a shared, publicly searchable translation memory, but you can make them  private. And you can also upload your TM, up to 50MB per and with up 1GB of storage space.

These entire features are currently free, but in the future, as the toolkit’s websites mentions, Google plans to charge users whose translations exceed high-volume thresholds. As I mentioned earlier the translation toolkit is great app, it will be the translation application of choice from me. However, besides some of the feedback I wrote in this post, I also would suggest that Google adds, Arabic spell checking and synonyms, so it saves the translator another minute of time to use other websites, application or books to fine tone the translation.

Currently in Google Translator Toolkit’s machine translation supports the  following list of languages: Albanian, Arabic, Bulgarian, Catalan, Chinese (Simplified), Chinese (Traditional), Croatian, Czech, Danish, Dutch, English, Estonian, Filipino, Finnish, French, Galician, German, Greek, Hebrew, Hindi, Hungarian, Indonesian, Italian, Japanese, Korean, Latvian, Lithuanian, Maltese, Norwegian (Bokmal), Polish, Portuguese (Brazil), Portuguese (Portugal), Romanian, Russian, Serbian, Slovak, Slovenian, Spanish, Swedish, Thai, Turkish, Ukrainian, and Vietnamese

I can also say, that Google Toolkit is the most innovative Arabic solution Google came up with until now.
Here is an overview Video of Google Translator Toolkit; I also recommend reading the help section if you are serious about translating and for more tips in how to use the app.



Update: Official Arabic launch announcement at Google Arabia Blog post.

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  1. Google Translator Kit: Automated Translation Meets Crowdsourcing  |  June 10th, 2009 at 12:11 PM #

    [...] (Thanks for the heads up, ArabCrunch) [...]

  2. Google Translator Kit: Automated Translation Meets Crowdsourcing | Viningmedia Nieuws  |  June 10th, 2009 at 12:42 PM #

    [...] (Thanks for the heads up, ArabCrunch) [...]

  3. Google Translator Kit: Automated Translation Meets Crowdsourcing | The Good NET Guide  |  June 10th, 2009 at 1:18 PM #

    [...] (Thanks for the heads up, ArabCrunch) [...]

  4. Johnny  |  June 10th, 2009 at 1:28 PM #

    The collaboration feature is specially interesting in the toolkit. I’ll try it as soon as possible.
    As a translator myself (I work in OneHourTranslation.com) I understand the importance of translation memory software (which – btw – is not a new thing).

  5. James Hussein  |  June 10th, 2009 at 1:46 PM #

    This could be especially useful for translators from the Arab world who wish to save some time re-using old translation materials. There’s a new generation of translation services like OneHourTranslation.com (I have no connection with it) which allow people to work as independent translators if they have language skills. For those people such a free tool will be very useful.

  6. Google Translator Kit: Automated Translation Meets Crowdsourcing | Free iPhone  |  June 10th, 2009 at 4:47 PM #

    [...] (Thanks for the heads up, ArabCrunch) [...]

  7. Google Translator Kit: Automated Translation Meets Crowdsourcing | Cellphone Ultra  |  June 10th, 2009 at 5:56 PM #

    [...] (Thanks for the heads up, ArabCrunch) [...]

  8. Google Translator Kit: Automated Translation Meets Crowdsourcing « Luciano Evaristo Guerche’s Weblog  |  June 10th, 2009 at 5:59 PM #

    [...] (Thanks for the heads up, ArabCrunch) [...]

  9. Google Translator Kit―機械翻訳+クラウド翻訳ツール登場  |  June 10th, 2009 at 9:34 PM #

    [...] (ArabCrunchの情報提供に感謝) [...]

  10. The Far Edge » Blog Archive » Google Translator Kit: Automated Translation Meets Crowdsourcing  |  June 11th, 2009 at 1:58 AM #

    [...] (Thanks for the heads up, ArabCrunch) [...]

  11. Breaking: Google Launches Translator Toolkit, an AI and Crowed Sourced Collaborative English Translation App Supporting 43 languages Including Arabic. | ArabCrunch « euraktiva  |  June 11th, 2009 at 10:04 AM #

    [...] via Breaking: Google Launches Translator Toolkit, an AI and Crowed Sourced Collaborative English Transla…. [...]

  12. Mohamed Zeid  |  June 18th, 2009 at 12:42 AM #

    Have you tried to upload a word document, translate it into Arabic, then download the translated version to see how it looks like? It sucks actually. The whole formatting is garbled and latin-based text and brackets are reversed. The idea is good, but it poorly supports Arabic.

  13. Jim  |  July 1st, 2009 at 9:37 AM #

    As a freelance translator at Tomedes.com and a web marketer, I can assure you Google is going to focus on translation tools and make a fortune based on the free content they will get from them

  14. Mark Tayar  |  October 13th, 2009 at 11:35 PM #

    We are using Translator Toolkit to translate our software product from English to Arabic. join the translation at:
    http://tris.com.au/arabic.htm

  15. Sundar  |  October 16th, 2009 at 11:00 AM #

    Its great news to hear that google is going to release the software to translate english to tamil. Tamil: the oldest language in the world and which has text history from 500 bc. now we also have translator to translate it.

  16. English Lithuanian Translation Services  |  May 2nd, 2010 at 3:23 PM #

    I’m using google translator kit quite often, its a wonderful tool

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