Challenging Google Translate: Duolingo

February 4, 2013

A happy quack to the reader who sent me the story “App Seeks to Translate Entire Web.” The article appeared in the February 4, 2013 USA Today, page 3A. This is a publication one of my library contractors calls “McPaper.” Well, if the Economist can use McDonald’s as a method of pegging currency buying power, I am okay with a report about a start up which wants to translate the “entire Web.” The Web is dynamic, so the latency issue is one which someone needs to consider. You can find a version of the story at this link, but I don’t know how long it will be alive.

The idea is that Duolingo is a “massive scale online collaboration” tool. You can do the Rosetta stone type language learning or you can relay on the system to translate the Web. The Web site for this challenge to Google’s little appreciated online translation capability is The system is linked to Carnegie Mellon University and a wizard (Luis von Ahn) who was a TED speaker. Link here. (To make the short link I used the enjoyable Captcha to key “udoping squ”. Coincidence? If you are a fan of the security feature which requires a user to type letters which are messed up in order to access a Web site, then you will be primed to embrace Duolingo. The inventor of Duolingo worked on the Captcha system.)

Is Google poised to snap up this innovation? Who knows.

Stephen E Arnold, February 4, 2013


One Response to “Challenging Google Translate: Duolingo”

  1. Site TermWiki observed in 2011 · MyInfoBlogg.COM on February 5th, 2013 7:33 pm

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