Friday, May 22nd20.8°C
26383
25263

Translation tools bring family together

You might use Google Translate to read a hard-to-find Manga comic book or to decipher an obscure recipe for authentic Polish blintzes. Or, like Phillip and Niki Smith in rural Mississippi, you could use it to rescue a Chinese orphan and fall in love at the same time.

Google is now doing a record billion translations on any given day, as much text as you'd find in 1 million books for everything from understanding school lunch menus to gathering national security intelligence. It translates in 65 languages, from Afrikaans to Yiddish, and can be used on websites, with speech recognition and as an app on mobile phones even if there is no connection.

While the technology is exponentially evolving, Google's translation guru Franz Och's face lit up when he heard that the Smiths and their new daughter, 14-year-old Guan Ya, are settling into their new lives together this month communicating almost exclusively through Google Translate.

"All day long I look at algorithms, algorithms and algorithms," he said. "It is so rewarding to hear that it is touching lives."

In the Smiths' case, it changed theirs forever.

The Smiths, who already have three children, first spotted Guan Ya less than a year ago when Niki Smith was looking at photos of hard to place orphans online, offering simple prayers for them one by one. With three children of her own, including a 3-year-old daughter adopted from China, she had no intention of adding to her family.

Then she saw Guan Ya.

"She was just our daughter," said Smith of that chance Internet encounter nearly a year ago. "There was no doubt about it, from the first time we saw her on the Internet."

There were seemingly impossible obstacles to adopting the girl. Firstly, Guan Ya was months away from turning 14, the age at which Chinese law would make her ineligible for adoption. Not only could Guan Ya not speak English, she didn't speak at all.

Guan Ya is deaf.

Undeterred, the Smiths scrambled through the paperwork and home studies that are inherent to international adoptions. With support from both Chinese and U.S. authorities, they expedited the bureaucracy by running a flurry of emails and forms through online translators. And one day Niki Smith received an email from her daughter-to-be, an unintelligible jumble of Chinese characters.

"Well, I couldn't begin to read this letter," said Smith.

That is where Google Translate came into play. Smith cut and pasted the letter into the empty rectangle for the program in her Internet browser and Guan Ya's thoughts magically appeared.

Thus began their heartwarming virtual conversation of love, family and life.

"The computers and software are tools, but I have no doubt that these tools made our bonding so much easier," said Niki Smith.

The Canadian Press


Read more Business News

25538


Recent Trending




Today's Market
S&P TSX15200.06-3.55
S&P CDNX701.29+0.78
DJIA18271.15-14.59
Nasdaq5099.59+8.79
S&P 5002130.92+0.10
CDN Dollar0.8121-0.0073
Gold1205.70+1.30
Oil57.45-1.98
Lumber272.70+3.10
Natural Gas2.899-0.050

 
Okanagan Companies
Pacific Safety0.14+0.00
Knighthawk0.010.00
QHR Technologies Inc1.46+0.01
Cantex0.03-0.01
Anavex Life Sciences0.395+0.023
Metalex Ventures0.09+0.01
Russel Metals25.67-0.15
Copper Mountain Mining1.38-0.03
Colorado Resources0.10-0.00
ReliaBrand Inc0.0048-0.0049
Sunrise Resources Ltd0.04+0.01
Mission Ready Services0.175-0.010
Decisive Dividend Corporation2.20+0.60

 



25185

FEATURED Property
2242989#1, 1890 Cooper Rd.
3 bedrooms 2 baths
$359,900
more details
image2image2image2
Click here to feature your property
Please wait... loading


Do or do not

Photo: Thinkstock.com“The optimist sees the rose and not its thorns; the pessimist stares at the thorns, oblivious of the rose.” - Kahlil Gibran Good planning is all about managing chan...


Penetrate the smokescreen

Photo: ContributedHas this ever happened to you? You’re in the middle of your second or third “good discussion” with a prospect. Everything’s going great. The prospect seems en...


Squaring the circle

Photo: Thinkstock.comI have been reading about market segmentation and choice. Howard Moskowitz’s research into tomato sauce as retold by Malcom Gladwell on the TED talks (http://www.ted.com/tal...

_



26112

25482


Member of BC Press Council


24222