Google wants multilingual participants at its I/O 2015 developers conference (May 26 to June 5) to contribute translations and validations for common words and phrases in their languages.
The company hopes to get more than 5 million contributions between now and June 6 from on-site and off-site attendees at Google I/O.
The goal is to improve the overall quality of Google Translate and to make translations available for a wider set of languages than currently available, Aaron Babst, community program manager at Google Translate, said in a blog post.
“More contributions mean higher quality translations for your language(s), or helping your language(s) become supported on Google Translate, if they aren’t yet,” Babst wrote.
To participate in the challenge, all that users have to do is sign up using the new version of Translate Community, set their languages and contribute as many translations as they want, Babst said. The tool basically presents users with a random selection of words or phrases in a particular language for which people might be frequently looking for translations. Users then have to provide their translation, or match or correct existing translations for that word or phrase. Users have to supply translations for the words or phrases surfaced by the tool.
Contributors will be able to track the languages that receive the most contributions during the challenge period and keep an eye on the leaderboard. Top contributors will be eligible for a Google Translate certificate and might be recognized on Google’s social channels, Babst said.
The I/O challenge builds on an ongoing effort by Google to get multilingual users from around the world to contribute translations and translation validation for Google Translate. Over the past 10 months, users have been contributing translations for more than 90 languages using the Translate Community tool.
One big focus of the effort is to get more translations for languages that do not have much of a presence on the Web, such as Cherokee, Assamese, Xhosa, Pashto and Kyrgyz. Since February, Google has been making a concerted effort to get more people to use its community translation tool to supply translations and to validate, match and rate those supplied by others for these languages.
Google said more than 50,000 people from around the world have come together to supply translations for languages like Burmese, Bengali, Vietnamese and Thai.
More than 100 translate-a-thons have been held around the world under the aegis of the Google Translate program, and more than 10 million words have been added to the translation tool, according to Google. “That’s 17 times more words than Tolstoy used for War and Peace, 12 times the number of words in the English version of the Bible,” Google Program Manager Svetlana Kelman said in a recent post.