"Like its rivals in the field, most notably Microsoft and I.B.M., Google has fed its translation engine with transcripts of United Nations proceedings, which are translated by humans into six languages, and those of the European Parliament, which are translated into 23. This raw material is used to train systems for the most common languages.
But Google has scoured the text of the Web, as well as data from its book scanning project and other sources, to move beyond those languages. For more obscure languages, it has released a “tool kit” that helps users with translations and then adds those texts to its database.
Google’s offering could put a dent in sales of corporate translation software from companies like I.B.M. But automated translation is never likely to be a big moneymaker, at least not by the standards of Google’s advertising business. Still, Google’s efforts could pay off in several ways. "
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Posted by: marind