[IAEP] Multi-lingual relaying on Sugar IRC channles is stopped

Aleksey Lim alsroot at activitycentral.org
Tue Nov 1 08:44:56 EDT 2011

On Sun, Oct 30, 2011 at 06:26:33PM +0000, Aleksey Lim wrote:
> Hi all!
> Starting from the recent times, translation[1] on Sugar IRC channels
> stopped working properly (messages started being skipped). This feature
> is disabled entirely for now, since missed IRC posts on translated channels
> might lead to many confusions.
> Infrastructure Team is working on the problem to fix this issue
> as soon as possible. Sorry for inconveniences.
> [1] http://wiki.sugarlabs.org/go/Service/meeting/Usage#Multi-lingual_relaying

The problem is that Sugar Labs infrastructure used Google translation API,
but Google stopped providing translation API as a free (free-as-a-beer)
service[1]. So need a replacement.

In fact, the original problem is that Google API, as a free-as-a-beer
solution that doesn't have, as an API, handles to accept contribution
to improve the quality of translation or customize it for people needs,
was used as a translation backend for Sugar Labs IRC channels (thanks to
the author of these lines). Because, it is obvious that just translation
is not the right final goal that should be taken within the Sugar Labs.
The purpose should be to let people teach new languages, do it in
cooperation with another people and contribute to the free
(free-as-a-speech) database that might be reused by another learners.

Obviously, using another, as a replacement of Google API, free-as-a-beer
translation API is the wrong way to go. There is the Apertium[2] project
that might be a good candidate to achieve goals mentioned above.

Apertium is a free/open-source platform for developing rule-based
machine translation systems. There are 28 language pairs [3] that are
stated as stable in Apertium, and there are a bunch of them
in development stage. It supports less languages than Google does but it
might be the right basis to start, i.e.,

* Looks like our most need is en-es/es-en, Apertium can provide it right
* Having a Web application, a la translate.sugarlabs.org, we can accept
  contributions from the community to customize current language pairs and
  add new ones.

The current plan is setting up en-es/es-en translation on Sugar IRC
channels to let people try it.

[1] http://code.google.com/apis/language/translate/overview.html
[2] http://www.apertium.org/
[3] http://wiki.apertium.org/wiki/Main_Page


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