It has probably become a norm to read through the details of anything and everything on Wikipedia to get a whole lot of information regarding the subject in one go. However, one of the drawbacks of the website, which Wikipedia itself has admitted, is its easy accessibility to only those who read English.
To help fix this, the Wikimedia Foundation, which runs Wikipedia, has announced that it is partnering with Google to take advantage of the company’s AI translation skills. As an option alongside the open-source translator Apertium, Google Translate will be integrated into Wikipedia’s in-house translation tool at no cost. The software in the translator, which has translated some 400,000 Wikipedia articles to date, does the first pass of translating an article before a human editor steps in to correct any mistakes.
The company’s software can handle 15 more languages than Apertium. These extra languages include Zulu, Hausa, Kurdish (Kurmanji) and Yoruba.
Elaborating on the partnership which can terminated at any time by them, the Wikimedia Foundation states that no personal data is shared with Google. The translated content will still be freely available under a creative common licence. Also, there will be no Google branding added to the site as a result of the deal.
Importantly, all translations generated in this way will be freely available to the public, which means that they can be used to improve other translation tools, including open-source software like Apertium.
After all, if one wants to make the world’s knowledge available freely to all, it’s a good idea to empower people to spread that knowledge themselves....