Coffeehouse Thread

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  • User profile image
    JoshRoss

    This looks to be really cool. I would also recommend watching Luis von Ahn's TED Talk. The basic idea is that you can utilize millions of people to translate documents, in exchange for teaching them the source language, while they perform the translation task.

    "How can people translate documents from languages they do not understand?" you might ask. Think of it like bit torrent, you don't need the full source file to share what you have, you just need to know that what you have can be verified and shared. User expertise can be detected by the system and work distributed accordingly.

    -Josh

  • User profile image
    JoshRoss

    *Kicks post*

  • User profile image
    W3bbo

    , JoshRoss wrote

    *Kicks post*

    I've been signed-up for the beta for a while now. I still haven't received my invitation yet.

    It's a great idea - and of course it won't be the success reCaptcha was - reCaptcha has the benefit of tens of millions of daily users ('workers') with an unlimited amount of work that needs doing - thanks to automated book-scanning.

    With language-learning it's different - both the number of workers and the amount of work that needs doing is substantially smaller, and besides people seem happy with products like Rosetta Stone and language tapes which work when you're not at a computer.

    He's got an uphill battle.

  • User profile image
    Blue Ink

    @JoshRoss: Interesting, but I'm not sure I understand how it would work in practice. The main issue I see is that English is by far the most popular language on the web these days _and_ it's also a popular choice as a second or foreign language at school in several countries.

    Think of Sweden, for instance: 85% of the population speaks English more or less fluently, so they are unlikely to sign up to learn it online. It would be up to the remaining 15% (minus non-Swedish speakers, minus those too old, too young etc.) to provide enough translators to make the whole effort noticeable. Paint me skeptical.

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