New GTS Translation Plugin version 1.2.2

We released today a new version of our GTS WordPress translation plugin. The new version 1.2.2 now supports translation of WordPress widget texts. It also fixes a problem that afflicted users with WordPress version 3.4 and up.

Since it’s release almost two years ago, the GTS Translation plugin has been downloaded about 17,000 times and has been installed in over 1,000 websites and blogs.

The GTS Translation plugin is a highly cost effective way of translating WordPress websites. It supports professional human translation through post-editing of machine translated text and crowdsourcing.

Google Translate API Casualties. A partial list

On December 1, 2011 Google shut down the free version of its Translate API (v1) and informed that all users would have to switch over to the paid Translate API version (V2). As many of us have anticipated, this ended the party for many companies that enjoyed free translation services. Here is a partial list of websites/products that have discontinued free translation services to at least some extent.

  • Ackuna, the Cloud Translator. The website is still there but the free translation has not been working in the last 24 hours. (Ackuna is owned by Translation Services USA, see next on the list).
  • Translation Services USA. This company switched over to the Microsoft Translator API so some of the languages work. But some of the languages (like Welsh and Yiddish) which Microsoft does not support are not working.
  • Ortsbo. This company also switched over to the Microsoft Translator API and some languages work. But some of the languages don’t work even though they remain as menu selection options.
  • Lingo24. This company has discontinued its free online translation services.
  • AsiaTranslate.net. This company has discontinued its free online translation services.
  • ToLingo. This company has discontinued its free online translation services.
  • Transperfect Transimage. This is an iPhone app developed by Transperfect which ran on the Google Translate API. It no longer works. I am betting that there are more free translation apps for smartphones that no longer work.

There are also a lot of websites that used free widgets that were powered by Google Translate V1 or that used scripts that called the deprecated API. You will be able to see some of them by doing a search on “Unable to perform Translation: Please use Translate v2.” Google terms this as a Terms of Service Abuse, click here for more details.

 

Microsoft’s Bookmarklet enables single-click translation on any browser

Microsoft has released a translation bookmarklet which allows single-click translation of any website in your own browser. How does it work? Just go to the Microsoft Language Labs website, select the language you want to translate to and drag it to your browser’s bookmark toolbar. After you install it, you can translate any website into the selected language with one click of the bookmark. If you want to have single-click access to website translation in a few languages, no problem. You can use this tool to create more than one translation bookmark on your browser.

Microsoft Translation Bookmarklet

Microsoft Translation Bookmarklet

What’s the big deal? There is none. All of the browsers already have plugins that allow single-click website translation. And website translation has always been one or two clicks away (by going to Google or Microsoft and pasting in the websites URL). Additionally, there are plugins that can detect the language of a website and translate it to your own language automatically. (The auto-detect and translation feature was made available in the GTS Translation plugin version 1.2.0).

But I find this move to be encouraging nonetheless, as it shows that Microsoft is trying to make inroads to the consumer by providing free translation tools that are useful. And by providing these tools, Microsoft will build a strong following for its translation system and make it a worthy competitor to Google. We the people can only benefit from this trend.

Creating your own Translation Community: The Movie

Since we launched the GTS Translation WordPress plugin last September, it has been downloaded nearly 5,000 times and installed in several hundred blogs. One of the things we are pleased to see is that clients are using our software to create their own translation communities for crowdsourcing their website translation.

For the benefit of anyone who would like a basic tutorial on how to set up your own translation community using our plugin, we have prepared a YouTube video with a step-by-step.

Here are some of the websites who have used the GTS Translation plugin to create their own community for post-editing their translated website content.

If you have any questions regarding the GTS Translation plugin, send an email to info at gts-translation.com.

Microsoft: “our Translator API is here to stay.”
New release of Microsoft Translator increases throughput

Two days after Google made their dramatic announcement that they were shutting down their Translate API, Microsoft made an announcement of their own (click here to read the full announcement).

We released an update to the Microsoft Translator service today, changing the previously enforced throughput limits. For the vast majority of our API users, this change has increased the throughput limits.

As a side note: the Microsoft Translator API is here to stay.

Chris Wendt
Microsoft Translator

The MT team, headed by Chris Wendt, is part of Microsoft Research. Read more about this group here. Microsoft has taken a much more solid, less hyped approach to MT than their flamboyant competitor, Google Translate. Microsoft has even scored a few industry firsts, such as the release of the first Haitian Creole MT. And as I reported in a previous GTS blog post, Microsoft was the first company to release English to Japanese and Korean TTS.

Microsoft is well positioned to take a leadership position in MT. Microsoft had been involved in computational linguistic research well before Google was even conceived. Microsoft has an incredible wealth of knowledge in the language industry, having developed grammar and spelling checkers in many languages; and having localized software products in hundreds of languages. With the huge installed base of MS Office , Microsoft has a powerful channel in which it can promote new translation and language solutions. Indeed, Microsoft MT is deeply integrated with MS Office 2010.

Unlike Google, Microsoft already offers commercial licenses for its Translator API. And as I mentioned in a previous blog post, they can provide custom MT server solutions for enterprises. MS does have less languages than Google, currently with about 34 languages. But I would expect that number to increase soon.