Crowdsourced app translates any text, voice or image into 75 languages

By Tom | Small Business

Photo: chanjs/Flickrtranslate

For those needing help with conversations abroad, we’ve already seen the SIGMO device, which can translate speech in real time into 25 different languages. Now the new app helps users make sense of almost any piece of language — written or spoken — using crowdsourcing translation.

The app — which is free to download on both the App Store and Google Play — enables users to type or copy a piece of written text, record some speech or upload an image of some text. The app is able to detect the language and offer a translation into one of 75 other tongues using computer algorithms. If users aren’t happy with the computer-generated translation, they can also upload their piece of text to be translated by its 2 million members. More than one person can translate each piece and other members can rate how accurate they believe it is.

While many translation services are pushing for automatic, real time deciphering, the app focuses on maintaining a human element, ensuring that the nuances of language aren’t lost through technology. Is there a way to combine this crowdsourced approach with real-time translation, perhaps through micro-volunteers?


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