AI for auto-translations; different languages for symbols

Over the last couple of months we have been testing the different AI automatic translation offerings to try and work out if we can translate symbol labels, with a chance to edit them online when they don’t make sense! This has been work related to an Augmentative and Alternative Communication (AAC) symbol repository – Global Symbols

Participants on the site who are registered AAC symbol developers can use Microsoft Azure’s cognitive translation services, but this does not work for all the languages we need.

Translation English to Dutch symbol labels

Microsoft Azure has 80 languages, but sadly not Macedonian or Montenegrin. This also means that when we use Weblate, an open sourse system using Microsoft, for menus and navigational elements on the website, there is also a problem. However, having tested the system with manual checks of other languages that we needed, Micorsoft appeared to provide a broadly satisfactory outcome.

When using Moodle we have found their Automated Manipulation Of Strings (AMOS) translation system can be used alongside the Google translation API which has the Macedonian language! Amazon also has Macedonian, but only 71 languages compared to 100.

Cost and the type of translation service required obviously affects choice and in our case we have been incredibly lucky to usually want a translation to go from English to another language, but in some cases it is important to have the option to reverse the situation as we have with one symbol set, where we need to go from Turkish to English. In this case Wikipedia offer a helpful chart, but do check the particular company sites, as they suggest.

Brewing tea!