Photo courtesy of ©iStockphoto.com/duncan1890
I’ve not posted much on language translation recently, so I’d thought I’d take another look and see what’s going on … A couple of things have come to my attention:
- Rosetta Stone are doing some interesting things with iPhone/iPad (to be honest, not too soon – I’ve always thought that smartphones/tablet computers and Rosetta Stone are made for each other)
- Google Translate continues to push forward – their smartphone app (for Android, iOS, etc.) is quite simply amazing (and yet still quite simplistic, but imagine where they’ll be in another 5-10 years, which is quite a long time in tech terms …
I like the contradiction of the above – one that promotes better language learning, and the other which helps you get by without language learning. Somehow typical of the world today – more solutions, more options, more complexity, more tailoring to individual needs, etc.
If you don’t know them, Rosetta Stone have an interesting approach to language learning – not explanation in your native language, and rote learning, but rather teaching you in the language that you are trying to learn, through total ‘Dynamic immersion‘ as they call it, with the aid of pictures, sounds, video, ‘repeat after me’ practice, etc. – in fact, more like how a child learns a language for the first time, then the way that adults have typically tried to learn languages in the past.
Their popular brand of language self-learning tutorials would seem to me to be perfectly designed for online and mobile interaction/testing – finally this is becoming a reality. You can try out a demo (with a shorter choice of 9 languages, compared to the 31 that they usually offer), on their website, here (email address required [by Rosetta Stone]).
We’ve elevated our marketing with emotional messaging that enhances our brand, and we’re developing an iPad delivery platform. Our premium language-learning solution, offering live, interactive coaching by trained native speakers as well as online gaming, continues to earn great feedback from users – and we’re confident it’s the best offering on the market
You can also hear Tom Adams talking about Rosetta Stone’s online efforts (including some interesting crowd-sourcing ideas, to get people with different native languages to talk to each other) with Bloomberg Surveillance here.
If you’re interested, more on Tom Adams, according to CrunchBase:
Tom Adams joined Rosetta Stone in 2003 and has grown the company into one of the world’s leading language-learning solution providers. He was named Ernst & Young Entrepreneur Of The Year® 2008 Award Winner in Greater Washington [see YouTube video embedded below]. A native of Sweden, Tom grew up in France and England. He holds a B.A. in history from Bristol University [University of Bristol], England …
YouTube video courtesy of ‘ErnstandYoungGlobal’
The Rosetta Stone Mobile Companion app (for iPod Touch and iPhone) exists already in some app stores, and the iPad app can be found in Apple’s UK app store (more to follow apparently) – follow them on Twitter (eg, @RosettaStone or @RosettaStoneUK) to receive timely updates.
I’ve commented on Google Translate in past posts (they were the winner of my mini-test, ‘Test results for comparison of free online translation tools‘).
If you don’t yet have it, you really should try out their app (for smartphone / tablet computers – Android, iOS for iPhone/iPad, etc. ) – it really is quite amazing, and while still quite simplistic, it’s incredible to imagine the potential of this sort of software will have in another 5-10 years, (quite a long time in tech terms …)
For the latest news on Google Translate, check out their blog, and their Facebook page. Recently the’ve been making some improvements to the app (of course, updates usually arriving on Android platform first …), as well as some building interfaces to other platforms (eg, Google Books – for more on this, see my post ‘The information age – thoughts on how ‘search’ is evolving, and the impact of Google Books‘).