The 20th International World Wide Web Conference that was held in Hyderabad, India has announced exciting new language translation software. Indian developers hope the new software will start to transform the way computer assisted translation is used in language translation throughout the world.
At present a vast amount of information on the internet is being wasted due to language barriers. It is thought that translation software is the key to making this information accessible to those who are not able to speak the language in which it was originally written.
Abdul Kalam (the former President of APJ) launched the new software named Machine Translation Systems (also known as Content Multiplier Tools) on 31st March at the WWW Conference in Hyderabad. The translation software was developed using funding from the Programme for Technology Development for Indian Languages.
It is hoped that the software will be highly successful due to the large number of people worldwide who speak a form of the Indian language (there are over 122 forms of the Indian language that are spoken throughout India). This means that with over 1 billion of the world’s population speak a form of the language, this leaves a massive pool of Indian people who will find the language translation software useful.
Currently the translation software is able to be used in three main modes. These are Indian to Indian, English to Bengali, Malayalam, Punjabi and Urdu and finally English to Bengali, Hindi, Marathi, Oriya, Urdu and Tamil. There are currently twelve language pairs in the software and it is hoped that every few months more language pairs will be added until the number reaches 26 pairs in total.
Many different institutions were involved in the making of the software and one of these institutions was IIIT – Hyderabad. The director (Rajeev Sangal) commented that the Indian to Indian translation software trials were proving to be more successful as Indian languages were very similar in syntax, lexis and grammar (which makes it easier for the translation software) and that the translation of English to Indian pairs were proving to be a little more complicated. However the developers (of whom 200 were Indian students) are encouraging people to make use of the language translation software and experiment with it whilst it is still free to use.