Sunday, March 14, 2010

PC World's shallow comparison of Chrome, Bing and Babel Fish

I’ve recently written about Ethan Shen’s survey to determine which free MT platform is best. Earlier this month, PC World published a review of the machine translation capabilities of the new beta version of Google Chrome, comparing it to Bing Translator and to Yahoo’s Babel Fish.

Ethan’s approach is more interesting and will prove more useful. PC World’s review is really too facile: saying that “It's fair to say, however, that Chrome's translator is up to the task.” on the basis of a single, short piece of translation, is really not doing a good service to PC World’s readers.


I had not seen the comparison of the three machine/translation platforms that had appeared on the New York Times a few days ago. It is much more interesting and well done than PC World's, but I fear it might have a built bias that favors statistical MT platforms such as Google: isn't it likely that such famous lines as the opening of One Hundred Years of Solitude aren't already in the giant databases that feed Google Translate and similar systems?

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