Cloudwords’ says its OneTM unified translation management service will streamline the onerous — and very expensive — process of translating software and documentation. The startup sports SaaS cred from co-founder Scott Yancey, who designed the system along with former Salesforce.com CTO Craig Weissman.
Video of President Obama’s State of the Union speech has already been translated into seven languages, and additional translation efforts are underway online. The multi-lingual captioning efforts are the result of an election year partnership between PBS Newshour, Universal Subtitles and Mozilla.
Smartling, a New York City-based start-up focused on enabling websites and apps to go multilingual, has raised $10 million to ramp up its localization tools. The company offers crowdsourcing tools for websites and apps to quickly and easily add additional language support.
How many times have you tried to translate a sentence and have come up with embarrassingly incorrect results via a translation site? Or have you used Google Translate to translate a website from another language and cringed at the stilted results?
If you had any doubt that we are living in the future, Google today introduced visual translation tools for use with a camera phone. Specifically, the new version of its Google Goggles app can recognize pictures of words written in five languages and rapidly translate them.
Could your smartphone one day allow you to speak to anyone in their native language? It would probably take a client-server setup like the one Microsoft is demonstrating. This Translating Telephone prototype offers near-real-time translation that could end up in your future handset.
Many of us use Google Docs (s goog), and many of us also collaborate with others who speak different languages. As announced on the Google blog, you can now translate documents in Google Docs into 42 different languages. The supported languages include Arabic, Chinese and Japanese, and you can execute the translations almost instantly. Here’s how easy this is is to do.
Read More about Instantly Translate Your Google Docs
Many people who manage web sites, blogs and web applications wrestle with the job of translating text to other languages, as discussed here. Babylon has long been a widely used tool for doing on-the-fly translations of words, text strings and entire web pages. It’s now out in a new version 8, which you can download and try for free here. (If you like it, you have to pay $99 to keep it.) I’ve been using it, and although no translation software is perfect, I find it good for both simple translation needs when writing, and for on-the-fly definitions.
After downloading Babylon (for Windows Vista and XP), you can select any word on a web page, in a PDF, in an email or in most popular applications, hold down your Ctrl button, then right-click your mouse to get a definition and translations. For example, in the screenshot to the right, I’ve selected the text “copyright infringement” from a news story on the web, hit the Ctrl key, and right-clicked to get a definition. I can scroll down in the list of results to get translations to other languages, and get results from Wikipedia and other sources. For the word “infringement,” I was able to pull up definitions from The ‘Lectric Law Library and the U.S. Patent Office — an impressive example of how Babylon considers the context for the definitions it provides. Read More about Babylon 8: On-the-Fly Translation of Words and Web Pages
When I lived in Japan, I had one of those little pocket talking electronic dictionaries. You’ll know what I’m talking about if you’ve traveled in Asia, or maybe if you’ve just met Asian tourists. They’re really popular in Japan, and most keitai (cell phones) also come with them pre-installed.
Most, that is, except for the iPhone, which actually lacks many of the features Japanese customers have come to expect from their cell phones. Japanese cell phone service provider SoftBank, currently the exclusive provider of the iPhone in Japan, took matters into its own hands and developed the Speeek! series of applications to correct this.
They’ve now extended the line of Speeek! products available, and the new additions to the line will appeal to English-speaking iPhone users looking to travel abroad. New versions of the software just introduced include an English-to-Japanese and English-to-Chinese version, both of which will cost you $21.99. That seems like a lot when you consider it in the context of App Store pricing, but if you compare it to the $200 I spent on my little talking electronic dictionary, it’s not a bad deal at all. Read More about New Speeek! Apps Reduce Communication to Pointing at Your iPhone
This list is an example of how web tools can be useful across a number of different professions.