Official Google Blog: Suggest a better translation

This is awesome!  I just tried it (I am trying to learn a foreign language on my own).  So I am interested in online translation.

More Google brains spread willy-nilly on the “Information Superhighway” .  When is the last time you heard that term to describe the Internet! 🙂

In any case, this is a fine example of crowd-sourcing.

But why stop at language translation?  Why not turn every link result on Google into a “global WiKi” where the “will of the masses” can determine what reality is?  (Answer:  because the masses are generally pretty darned stupid).  Anyway – that’s a topic for another post (How do you regulate/moderate/modulate an online community-created reality?)

But it this case, I think Google is putting crowd-sourcing to a very good use.  Maybe I won’t see all of those Japanese web sites that list the features of a video card and are translated as “many peoples of power RAM you will find delightful”.


We have a system that can learn to translate better if we know where the problems are. In the past, there was no way to tell us about problem translations. Now there is. Next time you see a sentence that makes you go “hmm,” just hover over it to display the original text tooltip and click the “Suggest a better translation” link. Tell us what it should have said, and we’ll use your suggestion to improve translation quality in future updates to our service.

Source: Official Google Blog: Suggest a better translation


  1. As for the masses being not too smart and too emotional .. that’s EXACTLY why the modern western world has done away with ‘Jury’ trials in their judicial systems.

    Uhmm.. oh wait… not ALL of them… yet.

  2. No – not Dutch. Something even more difficult!

  3. @Paul – Funny. I agree with you! I don’t think the crowd is good at determining anything that carries emotion. That’s why they are so good at tagging photos of inanimate things (box, round, ball, green) than they are things like people and animals (fuzzy, cute, dimples, HOT), etc.

  4. “I am trying to learn a foreign language”

    Learning Dutch .. finally?

  5. Why not let the “will of the masses” determine what reality is?

    Because reality is not subject to democratic principles, i.e. reality is not determined by vote.

    If it were, reality would be quite different from how we currently perceive it.
    (For one thing, there would be NO global warming: we simply would have voted against it! On the other hand, I’m afraid there would have been no evolution either, and God WOULD exist)