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Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Google Translate on Newswise

Google Translate on Newswise.jpg

Newswise has recently introduced a new service by making Google Translate as simple as one click on any article of the more than 100,000 in our online database.  This makes clients’ news much more accessible to international journalists.

How good is Google Translate?

Naturally, we are concerned about possible negative consequences, and one issue is the accuracy of the translation.  We are not qualified to test the full potential of Google, but we were able to do some simple tests and enough to demonstrate there seems to be no downside to this tool.

Any client may translate their own news releases, and post the English and alternative version simultaneously.  The University of Montreal, recently did this (http://www.newswise.com/articles/view/579323).  This provides a simple way to demonstrate Google Translate.  Below we juxtapose the original English version provided by UM with the copy translated to English from its French version so you can compare the two side by side. 


French to English translation
(by Google Translate)
English version
(by University of Montreal)

MONTREAL, Aug. 11, 2011 - Working with people with a severe disorder that causes degeneration of sensory neurons, researchers at the Hospital of the University of Montreal and Sainte-Justine Hospital have discovered how the mutation of a specific gene causes the condition of their patients, which revealed some mechanisms that allow us to feel pain. Genetic mutations are errors in our genetic code that can either be transmitted from parents to their children, is created when DNA is replicated. Jean-Baptiste Rivière, author, today published the results of the team in the American Journal of Human Genetics.

Presently incurable disorder called the sensory and autonomic neuropathy type 2. It occurs in young children and is characterized by loss of pain perception, touch and heat. Because people are unable to respond to pain and to protect themselves, they often develop ulcers that can become infected, leading to amputation of the affected body part. By working with international colleagues under the direction of Dr. Guy Rouleau, University of Montreal, the research team was able to determine how the disorder is linked to the genetic code of the patients.

 

Newswise — By working with individuals suffering from a severe disorder that causes sensory neurons to degenerate, researchers at the University of Montreal Hospital and CHU Sainte-Justine Hospital have discovered how a specific genetic mutation causes their patients’ condition, which in turn has revealed more information about the mechanisms in our bodies which enable us to sense pain. Genetic mutations are mistakes in our genetic code that can either be passed from parents to their children or created when DNA is replicated. Lead author Dr. Jean-Baptiste Rivière published the team’s results in the American Journal of Human Genetics today.

The currently untreatable disorder is called “hereditary sensory and autonomic neuropathy type II.” It starts during early childhood and is characterized by a loss of perception of pain, touch and heat. Because affected individuals are unable to react to pain and protect themselves, they often develop ulcers that can become infected, leading to amputation of the affected body part. By working with their international colleagues under the direction of the University of Montreal’s Dr. Guy Rouleau, the research team was able to pinpoint how the disorder is related to the patients’ genetic code.

 

The first two paragraphs, shown above for each version, demonstrate the quality of the translation.  However if you would like to test this further you may easily translate the French copy to English by going to http://translate.google.com/?hl=en&tab=wT and pasting the French version of the release.  (Newswise has programmed its function to automatically translate the English version to the user’s choice of 53 languages, but ignore any foreign version.)

Other assessments of google translate quality:

“What you see on Google Translate is state of the art” in computer translations that are not limited to a particular subject area, said Alon Lavie, an associate research professor in the Language Technologies Institute at Carnegie Mellon University, in a New York Times article on March 8, 2010.

“This technology can make the language barrier go away,” Franz Och, who leads Google’s machine translation team argued. “It will allow anyone to communicate with anyone else,” he says in a Guardian article.

Newswise will be tracking the use of this tool and the response to it, but at this point it seems to have only upside.


window.jpgTo translate any Newswise article, simply click on the “Translate article text:” button on the upper right sidebar where it is grouped with the other functions, such as printer friendly layout.

Posted by Roger Johnson on 08/24/11 at 09:02 AM

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