Google Translate lets you build a personalized phrasebook

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Woodstock  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 01:50
Member (2005)
German to English
+ ...
Hmmmmmmmmmmmm Mar 15, 2013

Why am I not convinced this is purely altruistic and for the benefit of the users? As much as I love Google as a search engine, I'm becoming very uneasy about their access to vast amounts of personal information and using it for targeted ads, and who knows what else. It seems to me that this is just another ploy to access peoples' interests and exploit the entered items for their own translation tool and/or marketing schemes. I don't want to discourage others from using it, just be very aware of what the consequences might be.

 

Rachel Fell  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 00:50
French to English
+ ...
Quite agree Mar 15, 2013

Very sceptical of their helpful offer....

 

Sandro Tomasi
Local time: 19:50
English to Spanish
+ ...
For the benefit of themselves Mar 16, 2013

As far as I know, what makes Google translate revolutionary is that instead of translating word for word, as previous machine translation, it translates in phrases. However, the phrases have to be inputted by humans. This is where Google gives you a chance to input your own phrases for "your" benefit.

 

Samuel Murray  Identity Verified
Netherlands
Local time: 01:50
Member (2006)
English to Afrikaans
+ ...
Looks like a renamed history function Mar 16, 2013

Woodstock wrote:
Why am I not convinced this is purely altruistic and for the benefit of the users?


I know of no commercial service on the internet that is purely altruistic.

Anyway, having looked at the feature, it looks almost like a renamed history function. In other words, it is aimed at people who usually type the source text manually. So if you have typed a phrase previously, you can save time (and typing) by simply looking it up in your phrasebook. As such it looks like a useful feature.


 

Tom in London
United Kingdom
Local time: 00:50
Member (2008)
Italian to English
I agree too Mar 16, 2013

Woodstock wrote:

Why am I not convinced this is purely altruistic and for the benefit of the users? As much as I love Google as a search engine, I'm becoming very uneasy about their access to vast amounts of personal information and using it for targeted ads, and who knows what else. It seems to me that this is just another ploy to access peoples' interests and exploit the entered items for their own translation tool and/or marketing schemes. I don't want to discourage others from using it, just be very aware of what the consequences might be.


I won't be availing myself of this "opportunity". Call me suspicious, untrusting, and paranoid if you want to icon_smile.gif but this looks to me like a way of stealing my translated phrases and putting them into a database that Google Translate can then access when it wants to, using the work of thousands of translators to improve its own algorhythms, for free.

I'm not going to play that game ! But it does suggest that Google is aware of how hopelessly inadequate Google Translate is and is trying to do something about it (at our expense).

[Edited at 2013-03-16 10:52 GMT]


 

Samuel Murray  Identity Verified
Netherlands
Local time: 01:50
Member (2006)
English to Afrikaans
+ ...
They're not your translated phrases Mar 16, 2013

Tom in London wrote:
Woodstock wrote:
It seems to me that this is just another ploy to access peoples' interests and exploit the entered items for their own translation tool and/or marketing schemes.

This looks to me like a way of stealing my translated phrases...


They're not *your* translated phrases. They are phrases that you had entered into Google Translate and that Google had translated itself. There is no user input of target text.


 

Woodstock  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 01:50
Member (2005)
German to English
+ ...
Marketing ploys Mar 16, 2013

Samuel Murray wrote:
I know of no commercial service on the internet that is purely altruistic.


That was not meant entirely seriously, but it can happen that a new feature like that could be classified as a genuine customer service, which is often intended to promote customer loyalty and attract new prospects, but not necessarily as a way of increasing profits directly.

One of my main translation specialties is marketing/market research, and having worked in that industry for some years, I'm fairly familiar with the typical marketing MOs, so I'm not kidding myself about Google's motives. In any event, I'm quite certain the highest priority of practically any company is to make money, right?icon_biggrin.gif


 

John Fossey  Identity Verified
Canada
Local time: 19:50
Member (2008)
French to English
Some are your translated phrases Mar 18, 2013

Samuel Murray wrote:

Tom in London wrote:
Woodstock wrote:
It seems to me that this is just another ploy to access peoples' interests and exploit the entered items for their own translation tool and/or marketing schemes.

This looks to me like a way of stealing my translated phrases...


They're not *your* translated phrases. They are phrases that you had entered into Google Translate and that Google had translated itself. There is no user input of target text.



In the web version of Google Translate there is the option of entering better translations of bits of the target text. I have always assumed that GT takes note of any changes made to the target text and adds the change into its statistical calculations.

[Edited at 2013-03-18 11:23 GMT]


 

Tom in London
United Kingdom
Local time: 00:50
Member (2008)
Italian to English
Yes, and..... Mar 18, 2013

John Fossey wrote:

I have always assumed that GT takes note of any changes made to the target text and adds the change into its statistical calculations


Yes - which is why I never do that - on the rare occasions when I use Google Translate.

I wonder if there's a legal issue with Google not making it clear what they do with the text that users put into the Google Translate database?


 


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