You are currently browsing the bab.la blog blog archives for March, 2011


Improving our similar translation results

Why show similar translations?
Sometimes similar translations are even more valuable than a ‘perfect match’ translation. Let’s say you search for the translation of ‘egg’. You might be looking for something similar but don’t know exactly what the word is – e.g. terms as ‘egg yolk’, ‘fried egg’ or ‘egg-shell’. Or you might need a particular expression where two or more words are used in combination, such as ‘to smile at sb.’ or ‘Keep smiling!’. This function helps you with a broader search to give you as many potential answers as possible.

How does it work?
We have built up a vast database with millions of sentences from multiple sources. This database helps us find results for almost any search term.

Why are some translations marked as ‘might not be accurate’?
In order to ensure a decent number of results for nearly any search term you need millions and millions of sentences. This can only be done by automatically matching sentences and their translations across multiple sources. Unfortunately, the quality of the sources varies and our matching algorithm is not perfect yet ;-). So bear with us, we are constantly working on improving the quality of our search results. Translations marked with an exclamation mark have not been checked yet but you can help us to do so, just continue reading.

What can I do?
Lots! And it doesn’t even take a second! When you go over a sentence with a mouse, you will find a small symbol of a flag on the right side. If you think the translation is wrong or inappropriate, click on the flag. We will be automatically informed to review the sentence. The user feedback system helps us determine the accuracy of each translation and improve our matching algorithm. We really appreciate your help!

As always, do not hesitate to contact us if you have any questions or suggestions.

Andreas