April 18th, 2013 | Published in Google Translate
What better way to start Cambodian new year than with the addition of the Khmer language to Google Translate as our 66th supported language. We hope that this will help open up the web to Khmer speakers and likewise make Khmer content more accessible to the rest of the world.
Our focus is and always will be our users. The Google Translate team works hard to improve the quality of our translations so that each newly launched language is of a quality good enough to help the users who rely on it. Khmer now meets our standards to be launched with “alpha” status. That means it is an early version of the translation system that will be usable in many situations, but may not be adequate for all.
Today’s Khmer launch comes with these useful features: virtual keyboard (in case you want to type in Khmer but do not have Khmer keyboard handy) and ability to read Khmer text phonetically for users who don't read Khmer alphabet.
Khmer is a challenging language for translation systems for two reasons: There isn’t a lot of Khmer data on the web and words are not usually separated by spaces; so in addition to teaching our translation system a new language, it also has to learn how to separate words (what we call segmentation).
Over time, we will improve the system and make our Khmer translations better. We constantly improve our algorithm when we find new translations and learn from your alternative translations.
If your language is not yet supported, please rest assured that our team is working hard behind the scenes to support additional languages. The more your language is used on publicly available websites with translations into other languages, the sooner we are likely to start supporting it. So please use your language on the web and help us collect new translations by uploading your translations with the Translator Toolkit.
សួស្ដីឆ្នាំថ្មី (Happy New Year)!
Post by Arne Mauser, Software Engineer, on behalf of the Google Translate Team