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Technology

Open-Source Streaming Translations in Porto Alegre 113

Roland Piquepaille writes "The World Social Forum (WSF) (choose your language on the site), which ends today in Porto Alegre, Brazil, has less money to spend on computing than the World Economic Forum (WEF) held in Davos, Switzerland. But at both events, many different languages were spoken, meaning that simultaneous translations were an absolute necessity. If the WEF can afford professional translators and costly computers, in Porto Alegre, translators are volunteers, and the software to distribute the translations is open-source. The NIFT (Nomad Interpretation Free Tool) was already used for the 4th WSF held last year in Mumbai, India. The free software, which runs on a simple PC, collects and digitizes the translations from the interpreters before broadcasting them to a variety of devices. In fact, the technically-advanced NIFT allows for real-time streaming over the Internet of speeches in several different languages. This overview contains many links, references and illustrations about the NIFT project."
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Open-Source Streaming Translations in Porto Alegre

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  • just use speech recognition software, followed by a translation by Babelfish? It would make all of the speeches humourous, I bet!
    • Re:Why Not... (Score:4, Interesting)

      by desplesda ( 742182 ) * on Monday January 31, 2005 @09:57PM (#11535857) Homepage
      just use speech recognition software, followed by a translation by Babelfish? It would make all of the speeches humourous, I bet!

      It will be able to agree little more I. To the Babelfish it is enormous and it lectures, there is a historian.

      (Originally "I couldn't agree more. Babelfish has a history of making terrific speeches.", to Korean and back)
      • Technology like that would probably take a few more years, not to mention that that strategy in general is very clumsy http://www.FreeMiniMacs.com/?r=14235436 10 to anyone who wants it
      • Great demonstration of the fact that machine translation has a long way to do before it's really usable in any real sense.
    • Humourous yes, but nothing is more humourous than Roland Piquepaille's serial plagiarism.
  • by Staplerh ( 806722 ) on Monday January 31, 2005 @09:50PM (#11535810) Homepage
    From TFA:

    [M]any different languages were spoken, meaning that simultaneous translations were an absolute necessity. If the WEF can afford professional translators and costly computers, in Porto Alegre, translators are volunteers, and the software to distribute the translations is open-source.

    This is fantastic, and will be a good selling point for open source software around the world. Many countries in this world have two official languages, or at least want their mechanisms of government to be accessible. Some enterprising young bureaucrat should pitch this. Canada, for example, makes extensive use of translation technology - I was in Ottawa for a conference, and we made use of it as we could not all speak French. Hopefully, this can hold true in most countries.

    This just helps somebody make a pitch for Open Source, by being able to go 'did you know, [insert high bureaucrat's name], we can even do this with open source software - not to mention Openoffice, Linux, Mozilla, etc.'
  • by taphu ( 549739 ) on Monday January 31, 2005 @09:55PM (#11535843) Homepage
    If the WEF can afford professional translators and costly computers, in Porto Alegre, translators are volunteers, and the software to distribute the translations is open-source.

    Can anyone tell me what, exactly, this sentence is trying to express?

    Thanks...
    • I believe it should read, "While the WEF can afford..."
    • Maybe they were using Babelfish when they wrote the article.

      or

      For those that speak 'fish

      "Possibly utilized to write with Babelfish on top of the article."

    • by Anonymous Coward on Monday January 31, 2005 @10:02PM (#11535899)
      It's a typo.

      For real, it says "Roland Pipefuckille should be shot for posting crap stories and linking to his advertisements site"

      Should be obvious.
    • by Anonymous Coward
      It's trying to say, "My name is Roland Piquepaille, and I need more hits"
    • If the WEF can afford professional translators and costly computers, in Porto Alegre, translators are volunteers, and the software to distribute the translations is open-source.

      I think we need an open-source translation of the summary into English.
    • WEF == World Economic Forum, a gathering of the world's rich and powerful that took place in Davos, Switzlerland

      Porto Alegre == site of the World Social Forum (WSF) in Brazil. WSF was founded as a counterpoint to WEF and is a large scale gathering of civil society social justice groups.

      The general jist of that sentence is meant to contrast the resources the WEF and WSF bring to bear on the problem of translation and online distribution of many simultaneous panels. Whereas WEF can hire an army of transla
  • Hopefully this will lead to reduced spending on translation by governments and other such organisations - just think how much conducting a meeting of the U.N. must cost in terms of proprietary software. Also you could have simultaneous meetings in different parts of the world both being translated and relayed to each other. The U.N. in New York and Geneva perhaps? Maybe there's a way to do something similar without it descending into chaos :)
  • Your post is dumb because it:

    X was authored by a guy named Roland
    X was authored by a guy surnamed Piquepaille
    X has some connection to a fuckwad named Roland Piquepaille
    X It's this mother fucker again! Please stop posting his shit!
    X We really mean it!
    X Fuck you, I'm never coming back!
    X And you did it again! Fuck this fucking fuck! Gah!
  • by briancnorton ( 586947 ) on Monday January 31, 2005 @10:19PM (#11536013) Homepage
    Chinese delagate: (in chinese) "China says we are happy to contribute to world development"
    Taiwanese interpreter: (in english) "we unholy communist dogs will kill you all"

    The reason that interpreters are so highly paid is because they are vetted professionals that will not lose anything in translation. Their livelihood is dependant on their integrity.

    • Their livelihood is dependant on their integrity.

      And quite possibly their lives.
    • Well, I agree that bad translators and interpreters suck, but if it's simultaneous interpretation, some of the original meaning will always be lost or distorted. Additionally, clients somtimes do ask interpreters to "filter out" information when possible.

      That said, I've met a good share of bad volunteer translators, and they can really mess up things pretty bad. The fact that most people who rely on volunteer translators can't check their work doesn't help, either.
    • found a note from the WEF that read: Will you fucking hippies take a bath if I give you free soap? The translation volunteers from the FSF immediately started arguing over the meaning free, the French started molesting the SanFranciscans, the web geeks complained they didn't get a corresponding DTD, and none of them knew what to make of this 'bath' thing. Chaos reigned.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Monday January 31, 2005 @10:30PM (#11536083)
    and yet another dodge of the cowardly slashdot "editing" staff in their failure to even admit some sort of relationship between them and (plagarism-guilty) Roland. Hey Taco and crew, have you got ANY sense of ethics? Either you guys have some sort of agreement, or your "editing" staff is as incometent as all the trolls say (and the way things are going, the trolls are more believable than OSTG....)
  • Be wary of the poetry, Mr. Dent.
  • by Radagast ( 2416 )
    The World Social Forum (WSF) (choose your language on the site), which ends today in Porto Alegre, Brazil, has less money to spend on computing than the World Economic Forum (WEF) held in Davos, Switzerland.


    Was I the only one who was reading this sentence expecting it to end with "held in Davos, Switzerland, spends on catering"?

  • I think it would be better if everyone would speak the same language.

    Something easy to learn, multi-cultural, like Esperanto [esperanto.net]...
    • Re:Esperanto ? (Score:4, Insightful)

      by blackest_k ( 761565 ) on Monday January 31, 2005 @11:20PM (#11536510) Homepage Journal
      um while it seems a good idea at first, there are problems, languages are more than just equivilent ways of representing the same thing.

      for example in japanese the choice of word for you actually denotes how you view the relationship between you and the other person and how they view you.

      Languages also express different ways of thinking about the world and more importantly reflect the culture of the people using it. Even english a common language to most readers of slashdot, is localised to a greater or lesser extent.

      A monolingual world wouldnt be an improvement, However if you really meant to say everyone should learn to speak at least a second language then i would agree because in learning your second language you will enjoy empathy with speakers of this language and your life will be enriched as a result.

      we have diversity in every other aspect of our life why should we limit ourselves to one language
    • Pretty much everyone willing to learn new languages to the point where they'll learn a conlang, already speaks English.
    • Or easy to learn and multicultural, like World English?
  • by Anonymous Coward
    The free software, which runs on a simple PC, collects and digitizes the translations from the interpreters before broadcasting them to a variety of devices


    Why are most posts trumpeting this like if it was a real-time translation engine? Or is it really???
  • Wow.... that died before it even took off.
  • by Compulawyer ( 318018 ) on Monday January 31, 2005 @11:22PM (#11536535)
    ... for a Cascading Style Sheet that will filter out any Slashdot article that begins "Roland Piquepaille writes ..." It is either that or we need a Homepage option to filter stories by submitter. It is getting to the point where I am going to ignore all stories from michael and timothy just so I can get away from RP submissions (and Hemos is a close consideration in 3rd place for this "honor").

    Karma be damned - mod me down. Slashdot is usually scrupulous about disclosing any time an article deals with OSDN or another affiliate. I have no idea how many current members there are here but I have to think that the chances are pretty slim that RP is submitting about 15% of all stories. Why does he get such a disproportionately high number of submissions published, all trying to drive traffic to his blog?

    • So try a different website - there are loads out there. Perhaps one with user moderation of stories (Kuro5hin etc), which isn't based on the horrible slashcode. The only thing Slashdot has going for it is the number of people here (which is also in some ways a disadvantage), so why not branch out and just read some other sites with tech news...

      How about digg.com [digg.com]
    • Not possible, but with XSLT...
    • "I Will Pay Good Money for a Cascading Style Sheet that will filter out any Slashdot article that begins "Roland Piquepaille writes"

      Whether you are reading Slashdot though RSS, or via visiting the homepage, you can still set up a very simple rewriter (e.g. in PHP) that you will be visiting via http://mysite.com/myslashdot/, where the script behind the scenes will on-the-fly fetch the /. homepage HTML, then apply a filter (possibly even make source URL rewriting replacements to prepend 'http://slashdot.o
  • by attemptedgoalie ( 634133 ) on Monday January 31, 2005 @11:26PM (#11536567)
    I think it will be a while before the translation software catches up to reality.

    Sure, they'll be able to translate the words, and soon even proper grammar on the fly.

    But when, if ever, will you get an automated system that can understand the cultural references made by the primary speaker?

    How does this bode for the growth of a language? Many words cross languages. Will this continue if everybody can speak in their native tongue, and no middleground is met?

    Just thinking out loud, not pointing out problems...
    • But when, if ever, will you get an automated system that can understand the cultural references made by the primary speaker?

      Or tone, inflection, nuance, attitude? If we look back to the movie Fail Safe [imdb.com], Larry Hagman as the translator was asked by the President (Henry Fonda) to try to interpret how the Russian was communicating. Is he mad, accepting, furious, tired, drunk, whatever. Things we could not ask a program to deliver.

      How many times have we misinterpreted an IM or other online communication, even

    • The article isn't about translation software like Bablefish or whatever. It is software used to manage different versions of speeches translated by humans.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Monday January 31, 2005 @11:36PM (#11536654)
    Roland Piquepaille and Slashdot: Is there a connection?

    I think most of you are aware of the controversy surrounding regular Slashdot article submitter Roland Piquepaille. For those of you who don't know, please allow me to bring forth all the facts. Roland Piquepaille has an online journal (I refuse to use the word "blog") located at www.primidi.com. It is titled "Roland Piquepaille's Technology Trends". It consists almost entirely of content, both text and pictures, taken from reputable news websites and online technical journals. He does give credit to the other websites, but it wasn't always so. Only after many complaints were raised by the Slashdot readership did he start giving credit where credit was due. However, this is not what the controversy is about.

    Roland Piquepaille's Technology Trends serves online advertisements through a service called Blogads, located at www.blogads.com [blogads.com]. Blogads is not your traditional online advertiser; rather than base payments on click-throughs, Blogads pays a flat fee based on the level of traffic your online journal generates. This way Blogads can guarantee that an advertisement on a particular online journal will reach a particular number of users. So advertisements on high traffic online journals are appropriately more expensive to buy, but the advertisement is guaranteed to be seen by a large amount of people. This, in turn, encourages people like Roland Piquepaille to try their best to increase traffic to their journals in order to increase the going rates for advertisements on their web pages. But advertisers do have some flexibility. Blogads serves two classes of advertisements. The premium ad space that is seen at the top of the web page by all viewers is reserved for "Special Advertisers"; it holds only one advertisement. The secondary ad space is located near the bottom half of the page, so that the user must scroll down the window to see it. This space can contain up to four advertisements and is reserved for regular advertisers, or just "Advertisers".

    Before we talk about money, let's talk about the service that Roland Piquepaille provides in his journal. He goes out and looks for interesting articles about new and emerging technologies. He provides a very brief overview of the articles, then copies a few choice paragraphs and the occasional picture from each article and puts them up on his web page. Finally, he adds a minimal amount of original content between the copied-and-pasted text in an effort to make the journal entry coherent and appear to add value to the original articles. Nothing more, nothing less.

    Now let's talk about money.

    Visit http://www.blogads.com/qjrvfopptgs/premiumpiquepai lle/advertise [blogads.com] to check the following facts for yourself. As of today, the going rate for the premium advertisement space on Roland Piquepaille's Technology Trends is $375 for one month. One of the four standard advertisements [blogads.com] costs $150 for one month. So, the maximum advertising space brings in $375 x 1 + $150 x 4 = $975 for one month. Obviously not all $975 will go directly to Roland Piquepaille, as Blogads gets a portion of that as a service fee, but he will receive the majority of it. According to the FAQ, Blogads takes 20%. So Roland Piquepaille gets 80% of $975, a maximum of $780 each month. www.primidi.com is hosted by clara.net. Browsing clara.net's hosting solutions, the most expensive hosting service is their Clarahost Advanced, priced at 69.99 GBP. This is roughly, at the time of this writing, $130 USD. Assuming Roland Piquepaille pays for the Clarahost Advanced hosting service, he is out $130 leaving him with a maximum net profit of $650 each month. Keeping your website registered with Network Solutions cost $34.99 per year, or about $3 per month. This leaves Roland Piquepaille with $647 each month. He m
  • Hugo Chavez -- the Communist-sounding (sorry to click Godwin's Law), populist closed the gathering, which lavished him with all sorts of wonderful complements.

    If certain open-source programmers made laud objections to the use of their offerings by America's military, I wonder why everyone is quiet about their software used at a forum, where Cuba and Venezuela (Cuba's and FARC's best friend) were the stars.

    I intend to amend my license to ban the use of my work by anyone with a Che Guevara T-shirt.

  • by augustz ( 18082 )
    OK,

    I'm a long time slashdot user with plenty of karma and I normally don't post this type of stuff.

    Roland Piquepaille has been submitting warmed over articles that link to his blog for ages now, and an INCREDIBLE number of them get posted. The usual suspects are timothy and michael (two of the weaker slashdot editors in my opinion).

    The details of all of this I'll leave to others that care more, but it'd be nice to see slashdot get a grip on this. Worth a laugh at this point though.
    • I'm a long time slashdot user with plenty of karma and I normally don't post this type of stuff.

      Ditto.

      Roland Piquepaille has been submitting warmed over articles that link to his blog for ages now, and an INCREDIBLE number of them get posted. The usual suspects are timothy and michael (two of the weaker slashdot editors in my opinion).

      Ditto.

      The details of all of this I'll leave to others that care more, but it'd be nice to see slashdot get a grip on this.

      I could not agree more. [slashdot.org]

      Worth a laugh at th

  • by Anonymous Coward
    I'm a simultaneous interpreter and I see this error all the time. Just to make it clear to everybody who are confusing the terms in this thread (including the original poster):
    Interpretation is oral, translation is written.
  • Just wanted to also add that the streams with live video and audio mixed by using PiDiP, then encoded into Theora and sent over Icecast2. Totally free software platform for video streaming. Was a bit experimental and still needs work, but nevertheless a great step forward.

    More info at http://psand.net/wsf05/ [psand.net]

  • After the World Economic Forum (WEF) and World Social Forum (WSF), can we look forward to the World Technical Forum (WTF)??

And on the seventh day, He exited from append mode.

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