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Google Translation Center

Over the past couple of days I’ve been reading about the (apparently 😉 inadvertently leaked news about  Google Translation Center, and have been wondering what it really entails for the translation industry. I first saw a notice about the ‘leak’ on, and then read about it on, and also today on the  the International Writers’ newsletter.

This is a step in a new direction for the mighty Google, which is fast completing utter dominance of the  internet and follows their foray into machine translation with ‘Google Translate’. Google Translate received a fairly good reception when it was released, as being ‘not too bad’ as far as machine translation goes, if you need to get a very rough approximation of isolated sentences. It does surprise me that they’re now attempting to diversify into human translation, though. Perhaps they’ve seen the success of collaborative translation on open-source projects (by volunteer translators), and of subscription translator community sites such as ProZ and want a piece of the action.

But then, Google Translation Center doesn’t look like a translator community site, nor is there any mention of money changing hands, so I can’t help wondering what’s in it for them? Their stated aim is: “Google Translation Center is part of our effort to make information universally accessible through translation”, but surely, as a company as powerful and successful as theirs must have a profit-driven or market dominance-driven motive lurking behind everything it does, right?

According to Stephen Shankland:

“[…]the company also has technology called Cross Language Information Retrieval  (CLIR)  that builds            translation into its search engine.”


“Google’s translation system uses a statistical model that works better the more it can compare the same text in two different languages. And Google evidently will track translation work in its database; according to the center’s introduction for translators, “our translation search feature matches your current translation with previous translations, so you don’t have to translate over and over again.”

Google is fervently interested in better machine translation. With it, it can use its search technology to link people with data around the world, regardless of language barriers, making its search engine significantly more powerful.”

Interesting stuff that may further enhance the way we search for information, not to mention the possibilities for a gigantic global translation memory. You can read Google’s own full explanation of what it’s all about here.

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User Responses

3 Responses and Counting...

  1. Clara

    August 08, 2008

  2. Clara

    August 08, 2008

  3. Eurominuteman

    August 08, 2008

    Google Translation Center is only a mechanical tool.

    The organistical human side still needs to be addressed.
    Check the following Social Group about Google Translation Center:

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August 08, 2008

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