Open Access News

News from the open access movement

Sunday, November 04, 2007

Open-source translation

Worldwide Lexicon combines open-source software and crowdsourcing methods to translate online documents.  It's not new, but I haven't seen it discussed in scholarly communication circles and blog it here to start that discussion.  Here's a description from WWL founder Brian McConnell:

We are building a suite of collaborative translation tools that enable people to view, create and edit translations for webpages. Similar concept to wikipedia, except geared to appending translations to web documents.

We've built a suite of tools for publishers ranging from easy to use plug ins (such as our Word Press extension) to source code libraries for PHP developers. With these, publishers can embed collaborative translation capability in virtually any website. The system is currently in beta testing, and has drawn users from 130 countries so far....

The project actually has a pretty long history, about nine years, and has evolved a lot. It started with the goal of creating a meta-dictionary (hence the name). The Word Press plug in and PHP tools have been available for about three months....

Our aim with WWL is to focus on enabling tools. We are working on a commercial service, but like Word Press, we are open sourcing most of it. My goal is for this to be embedded in a wide range of systems and publications in 2-3 years time.