Google Tests Human-Powered Translation - InformationWeek

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8/4/2008
07:32 PM
Thomas Claburn
Thomas Claburn
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Google Tests Human-Powered Translation

Google is testing a new human-powered translation service under the name Google Translation Center.

Google is testing a new human-powered translation service under the name Google Translation Center.The service is currently available only to members of Google's Trusted Tester Program, according to Philipp Lenssen, who maintains the Google Blogscoped blog. But at some point, it will be opened to wider testing.

Amazon Web Services offers a broader service called Mechanical Turk. It allows registered "requesters" to post paid tasks for online workers. Translation is one of many possible assignments that can be posted using the service.

But Google appears to be interested in a more focused service. It allows users to upload documents and request translations into more than 40 languages.

It's not yet clear whether Google plans to enable payments between translators and clients. If so, Google will probably offer payment through Google Checkout, the company's online payment service.

Google Translation Center appears to be both a marketplace and a translation work flow management tool. It aims to help people find translators and to manage translated documents.

Google may try to use the service to solicit translations for popular Knol articles as a way to broaden the content it offers. This would be consistent with Google's content philosophy, which might best be summarized as "the more, the merrier."

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