Wikipedia’s main objective is to open the world’s knowledge to everyone, but one of the main problems is that language barrier. Which means people who cannot understand English has limited opportunities to access. In order to solve this issue Wikimedia foundation teaming up with Google Corporation to use Google translation AI tools to translate their Wikipedia articles in various languages.
According to Wikimedia Google Translate will be added as an option in their Wikipedia in-house translation alongside with their open-source translator “Apertium”. Apertuim translated more than 400,000 Wikipedia articles up to date. Nevertheless in any situation, after software done translating certain Wikipedia articles, a human editor will check and correct any mistakes.
Wikipedia editors have been requesting certain more advanced translation tools such as Google translation AI for a while. Google translation AI recognized as one of the most advanced as comprehensive AI tool. One of the main advantages of Google translation AI is that it can handle 15 more languages than current Wikipedia’s integrated translation AI, Apertium.
Among these 15 languages Zulu, Hausa, Kurdish (Kurmanji) and Yoruba languages are also included. Obviously, these languages are not known for their popularity but it doesn’t lower the value of including them in Wikipedia articles. As an example Zulu language spoken by some 12 million people, but there are only 1,000 Wikipedia articles currently available in the Zulu language.
According to Wikimedia, they will not share personal data with Google corporation and all the translated contents will be available for free under creative common license same as current Wikipedia articles. And also in the FAQ about Google translation agreement Wikimedia foundation explained that there will be no Google branding added to Wikipedia articles. Furthermore, they stated that this agreement only valid for a year and Wikimedia foundation can terminate it at any time. Wikimedia foundation further stated that they will consider maintaining the agreement after reevaluating 1st year.
Most importantly all the generated translation using Google translation AI will be freely available for everyone. Which means anyone can use them to further improve other open source translation tools such as Apertium. In this way, many people will have access to free knowledge worldwide. If you want to spread the knowledge it is always a good idea to empower people to spread the knowledge themselves.