Microsoft promotes Khmer

Sok Chan / Khmer Times No Comments Share:
Microsoft’s technology for language translation will now include Khmer. Reuters

Khmer will soon join 60 languages worldwide in the Microsoft Translator Hub and the company will test its translations from Khmer to other languages in the next six months, Microsoft said.
Company technology officer Erick Stephens spoke about the project on Monday at the Ministry of Commerce during a Microsoft seminar on cloud technology.
Small and medium-size enterprises, students, academics, businesspeople and society in general would be able to translate other languages to Khmer.
“Today is the digital industrial revolution, but the challenges for people is technology and language that create a gap between people that have access and people who don’t have access.” he said.
“Language is one of those blockers so we don’t want to leave anyone behind in Cambodia.
“We are going to provide whatever we can to deploy the Khmer language and system so that small and medium enterprises, students, academics and society generally can use the internet and language in Khmer,” Mr. Stephens said.
“Microsoft Translator Hub is an official translation system. We will bring the new technology and the possibility of founding future prosperous development in Cambodia.
“This system, for example, will help tourists to understand the Khmer language by using their phone, tablet, computer and other devices to enjoy all of the culture that there is in Cambodia.
Mr. Stephens said Microsoft was still making progress in the 60 or so languages.
He said the accuracy of machine translation to the Khmer language is 40 to 60 percent of a human expert, but the Microsoft machine will become the expert in 10 years.
He said there were challenges including sentences in Khmer that need to be recognized in English.
 “It is not perfect, but it will improve. When the system is deployed in the future, people will be able to interact with the system and correct sentences,” he said.
Sok Sopheak, Under Secretary of State at the Ministry of Commerce, said the ministry signed an agreement with Microsoft about five months ago to include the Cambodian language in the translator hub.
Cambodia will do a pilot launch of the new service.
“But now we have to make our language correspond with the English language. We have to have the Khmer content in which sentences, words and phrases correspond with English since the Khmer language is complex,” Mr. Sopheak said.
Microsoft Translator technology powers translation features across Microsoft products, including Office, SharePoint, Yammer, Visual Studio, Bing, and Skype.
 By simply integrating translation into web, desktop, or mobile applications, using industry standard REST technology, the company says its Cloud Translation API provides a rich functionality set for any developer. The Cloud Translation API lets websites and programs integrate with the translation service.

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