Found in Translation

March 18, 2008 at 10:18 am 4 comments

James M (MindShare, Thailand) writes: 

asiaonline.jpgToday I attended a presentation arranged by AmCham with Asia Online as Guest Speaker. Once over the initial shock of the title (Is Machine Translation Ready for Real-world Use?), I found the subject matter fascinating and wondered why it had not struck me sooner? With approximately one billion online, many of whom are comfortable with the English language, what of the next billion? The ‘next generation’ will want (and many will only be able) to interact with the web in their own language.

Dion Wiggins, CEO of Asia Online, explained how currently only 12% of all web pages are in Asian languages (mostly split between Chinese and Japanese – with Thai making up less than 0.03%). Although much was made about making technology available to the developing world, he went on (especially the Nicholas Negroponte-fronted project One Laptop per Child) little progress had been made in making the vast majority of the existing, valuable content available in anything but the English language.

In response, his company is “innovating software translation technology to deliver far more accurate results and to support many language combinations…to translate huge quantities of valuable content and make that freely available in local languages.” They are well aware of the idioms and nuances each language possesses and as such the software requires vast amounts of data (corpus) in original and translated versions from which it can learn. Assuming they are successful, the value of existing content and the ability to create new pages instantly available in multiple languages will be of huge potential to the current and ‘next billion’ Internet users.

Watch this space…

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Entry filed under: all asia, blogging, content, digital, trends.

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4 Comments Add your own

  • 1. Michael Tchong  |  August 28, 2008 at 3:47 am

    James, I’m still watching but nothing’s happening! 😉

    Reply
  • 2. bob  |  July 28, 2009 at 12:05 pm

    innovating software

    Reply
  • 3. htg  |  July 28, 2009 at 12:06 pm

    very well topic

    Reply
  • 4. shansin  |  December 30, 2010 at 9:22 am

    best topic today

    Reply

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