Duolingo snags iPhone App of the Year

When Apple(s aapl) posted its year in review on Tuesday, it did something it has never done before: award an education app the top prize. Duolingo, the translation app that was recently updated with more gamified features, was named iPhone App of the Year — beating out VSCO Cam, Endless Alphabet, and other non-gaming apps for the top prize. A rep for the company indicates that this is the first education app that Apple has awarded with the honor, and that the 18-month-old app has more than 16 million users worldwide. The app is available for free on both iPhone and iPad.

Translate This: Google’s Quest to End the Language Barrier

http://www.spiegel.de/international/europe/google-translate-has-ambitious-goals-for-machine-translation-a-921646.html

While we have come a long way toward make automated translation easier, faster and more reliable, a world of seamless and immediate translation is still out of our grasp. Der Spiegel spoke with the German computer scientist chasing Google’s translation dreams, Franz Josef Och, about the challenges of translating between Google’s 71 supported languages. Surprisingly, a lot of it has to do with probability: Algorithms translate a phrase by computing the possible translations, then narrowing it down based on how a native speaker would order the words.