I noticed on the Google Operating System blog yesterday that Google Translate had switched translation engines from Systrans widely used engine to an in-house statistical based translation engine.
Intrigued, I headed over to Antonio Ortiz’ blog (Antonio is based in Malaga and blogs in Spanish), copied some of the text from one of his posts and ran it through both engines.
This is the original Spanish:
Microsoft comprarÃ¡ 20 compaÃ±Ãas al aÃ±o durante los prÃ³ximos cinco. Es lo que ha afirmado Steve Ballmer en la conferencia Web 2.0 de San Francisco, que tambiÃ©n ha seÃ±alado que tambiÃ©n incluirÃ¡n fabricantes de software open source en la lista y que prefieren compaÃ±Ãas pequeÃ±as (pequeÃ±as entre 50 millones y 1000 millones de dÃ³lares) antes de que se conviertan en inaccesibles (News.com).
Here is the Systrans translation:
Microsoft will buy 20 companies to the year during next the five. It is what it has affirmed to Steve Ballmer in the conference Web 2,0 of San Francisco, that also has indicated that also they will include software manufacturers open source in the list and who they prefer small companies (small between 50 million and 1000 million dollars) before they become inaccessible (News.com).
and now here is Google’s translation:
Microsoft will buy 20 companies a year for the next five. This is what has Steve Ballmer said at the Web 2.0 conference in San Francisco, which has also indicated that manufacturers will also include open source software on the list and who prefer smaller companies (small between 50 million and one billion dollars) before they become inaccessible (News.com).
While they are both far from perfect, I think you will agree the Google translation is at least as good as the Systrans one. Not bad for a new translation engine.
The Google Translation service has the option to “Suggest a better translation” – this is then fed back into the translation engine and it learns apparently!
What will they think of next!