BBC: Facebook blames ‘technical issue’ for offensive Xi Jinping translation

BBC: Facebook blames ‘technical issue’ for offensive Xi Jinping translation. “Facebook has apologised for translating Chinese President Xi Jinping’s name from Burmese to English into an obscenity on its platform. The translation gaffe came to light on the second day of Mr Xi’s state visit to Myanmar.”

Passenger Terminal Today: JFKIAT announces Google partnership

Passenger Terminal Today: JFKIAT announces Google partnership. “Terminal 4 at John F Kennedy International Airport has become the first airport terminal in the world to partner with Google to bring the Google Assistant’s interpreter mode real-time translation technology to travelers.”

Google Blog: Google Translate improves offline translation

Google Blog: Google Translate improves offline translation. “When you’re traveling somewhere without access to the internet or don’t want to use your data plan, you can still use the Google Translate app on Android and iOS when your phone is offline. Offline translation is getting better: now, in 59 languages, offline translation is 12 percent more accurate, with improved word choice, grammar and sentence structure. In some languages like Japanese, Korean, Thai, Polish, and Hindi the quality gain is more than 20 percent.”

Neowin: Google Assistant’s Interpreter Mode is rolling out to phones today

Neowin: Google Assistant’s Interpreter Mode is rolling out to phones today. “Google announced Interpreter Mode earlier this year, rolling it out to Google Home and Assistant-powered Smart Displays some time later. As suggested by the name, Interpreter Mode permits users to communicate back and forth when they’re abroad and do not know the local language. Now the company has announced that it is rolling out this feature today to ‘Assistant-enabled Android and iOS phones worldwide.'”

VentureBeat: The Masakhane project wants machine translation and AI to transform Africa

VentureBeat: The Masakhane project wants machine translation and AI to transform Africa. “English, Arabic, and French dialects can be found on parts of the African continent and are used across tribes, ethnic groups, and national borders, but none is native to Africa. Some estimates put the number of living languages on the continent at 2,000 or more. This can stand in the way of communication as well as commerce, and earlier this year such concerns led to the creation of the Masakhane open source project, an effort being undertaken by African technologists to translate African languages using neural machine translation.”

TechCrunch: Microsoft adds Māori to translator as New Zealand pushes to revitalize the language

TechCrunch: Microsoft adds Māori to translator as New Zealand pushes to revitalize the language. “The benefits of machine translation are easy to see and experience for ourselves, but those practical applications are only one part of what makes the technology valuable. Microsoft and the government of New Zealand are demonstrating the potential of translation tech to help preserve and hopefully breathe new life into the Māori language.”

Google Blog: Speak easy while traveling with Google Maps

Google Blog: Speak easy while traveling with Google Maps. “This month, we’re adding a new translator feature that enables your phone to speak out a place’s name and address in the local lingo. Simply tap the new speaker button next to the place name or address, and Google Maps will say it out loud, making your next trip that much simpler. And when you want to have a deeper conversation, Google Maps will quickly link you to the Google Translate app.”