Jibbigo is easy to use, but like most voice-input apps, it works best in environments with low-to-moderate background noise, and you must speak clearly when using it. To start translating, you launch the app and record a sentence in English or Spanish. Jibbigo then translates the … Read more
Google is making a new move to lower language barriers, offering the ability to translate search results from one language to another.
The search giant is in the process of adding the feature to the "show options" button that shows at the top of search results page. "We've offered this feature in Google Translate for a while, but now we're integrating it fully into Google search, making it easier for you to find and read results from pages across the web, even if they weren't written in a language you speak," said Maureen Heymans, the project's technical leader, and Jeff Chin, its product manager, in a blog post.
Clicking the option can dramatically change the results you see. For example, my ordinary search for "Taipei Museum of Fine Art" produced mostly English-language results. The translated results, though, featured Chinese Web sites with a different perspective (see the result below). Among other things, there was a Chinese Wikipedia entry--also conveniently translated by Google when I clicked the link--where there is none written in English. … Read more
Global company IBM seems to have found a way for its employees to get past language barriers and communicate.
IBM employees are currently using text translation software that can instantly convert documents, Web pages, and even instant messages between English and 11 other languages. The software, christened "n.Fluent," is being "crowdsourced" or tested among IBM's 400,000 employees across 170 countries.
As IBMers use n.Fluent, the software learns from its mistakes and improves itself. As the entire company potentially taps into n.Fluent, volunteers within IBM refine each translated word for greater accuracy. … Read more
Web-based Twitter client Brizzly made a dual announcement Friday: first, it's opened up into a full public beta mode (previously, an invite code was required); and second, it can now translate tweets into your default language on the site.
To translate a tweet in Brizzly--which already expands links, videos, and photos posted to Twitter, creating a more visual experience--you can click on a question mark for an instant translation. This is interesting, as Twitter has made its first moves recently in launching translated versions of the service (starting with Spanish), meaning that there will potentially be many more non-English … Read more
Just like everyone who grew up on something of a "Star Trek" diet, I want to believe.
I want to believe that Spock will rise from the dead, get married, and have pointy-eared offspring, who, regressing to the mean, will become sports-loving couch potatoes. I want to believe that Captain Kirk will shack up with Uhura on Pluto and lead a fight to have the planet recognized as one of the greats.
And I want to believe that d'Armond Speers really did only speak to his son in Klingon for the first three years of the little boy's life.
You don't remember d'Armond? Well, he first entered the Trekkie firmament in a 1999 Wired article, in which he told of how difficult it had been to communicate solely in the limited language of Klingon with his then 30-month-old son, Alec.
He even presented a recording of little Alec singing the opening bars of the Klingon Imperial Anthem.
The story has this week been updated with some extraordinary news.… Read more
Occasionally we come across a program that has the potential to be really great but is ruined by a terrible interface. LEC Translate DotNet is one such program. This suite of translation utilities allows users multiple ways to translate text on their computers, but the way the program is laid out makes it utterly frustrating to use.
The program is composed of five different utilities, ClipTrans, FileTrans, LogoTrans, and MirrorTrans. Do you have any idea what any of these do? Neither did we. And opening each one revealed interfaces with absolutely no direction. The only way to figure out what … Read more
Google made several improvements to Google Translate Monday, such as the ability to translate words written with unique character sets with their phonetic spelling.
Google has been steadily adding languages to Google Translate over the last couple of years, but if the language used a completely unfamiliar character set--such as the Roman-character based languages like English or Spanish versus Chinese characters--the service was only useful for those trying to write in the language. Now Google Translate will help those trying to translate English into Chinese for speaking purposes by providing a phonetic version of the translation in Roman characters.
Those … Read more
Cute Translator lets users translate text between 13 different languages. Although the program does translate text quickly, we found the program's other features frustrating and, in some cases, unusable.
We were met right off the bat with two nonsensical error messages when the program opened. We ignored them, and the program opened without issues. The interface is simple enough, with a box for users to input text and another below it where the translation appears. Translations are completed quickly. The program's extra features, however, are annoying to set up. Users can have text read aloud to them by … Read more
My Translator is purportedly a translation program that lets users translate words between several languages. Unfortunately, the program's design and some outright errors make it a poor choice for this kind of work.
The program's interface is basic and easy enough to understand. Select the languages that you're translating from and to, enter the original text in the input box, and the results show up in the output box. That part is simple enough. The problems occur when you start to consider the program's features and content. First of all, unlike many other translation programs and … Read more
In the classic Simpsons episode "Brother, Can You Spare Two Dimes?", Homer's long-lost brother Herb invents a baby translator. The baby cries, the machine announces its meaning (in Danny DeVito's inimitable voice) in plain English.
Seventeen years later, there's an app for that. Cry Translator promises to identify the "five distinct cries" made by infants.
In other words, you no longer have to wonder if your ankle-biter is tired, hungry, mad, stressed, or just bored. It's like Stanza for crybabies.
My first reaction: That's cheating! My second reaction: Why wasn't … Read more