The next big thing you missed | Why eBay, not Google, could save automated translation

The problem with the world wide web is that it isn’t exactly worldwide. For many users, their internet doesn’t really extend beyond the borders of their particular country, and in most cases, this is simply a problem of language. Websites from across many boundaries just aren’t written in words they can understand.

EBay is just one of many companies aiming to break down this language barrier, but it has an especially strong reason to do so. The more people that eBay sellers can sell to, the better chance of making a sale. This ultimately means more money for eBay. To help widen its markets as much as possible, the company is now testing an automated translation tool on its product listings. In the process, it hopes to improve the art and science of online translation in a way that few other sites can. EBay engineers believe they have an especially good shot at developing effective translation methods using a key eBay-centric data point: whether something sells or not.

Hassan Sawaf became eBay’s director of machine translation a little less than a year ago, after a long career researching and developing ways to…

Read more | wired.com

Photo credit | “eBay Logo” by Brian Cantoni on Flickr

Posted on June 12, 2014 in Field of translation

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