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Breaking language communication barriers in Africa
A digital platform called OBTranslate, which was launched in May 2019, aims to translate more than 2,000 African languages to bring African cultures together and boost the continent’s trade. Moreover, it aims to enable self-driving cars, speaker devices, smartphones, linear robots and wireless technology to communicate and interact with human beings in African languages.
According to Emmanuel Gabriel, the inventor of OBTranslate, the platform is built in accordance with Sustainable Development Goal 9, “Build resilient infrastructure, promote inclusive and sustainable industrialization and foster innovation”, and also in accordance with the Africa Continental Free Trade (AfCTA) goals.
OBTranslate is an online Computer-Assisted Translation (CAT) tool, built on machine learning, artificial intelligence (AI) and big data analysis. It has a "corpus-curating” feature which curates the collection of occurring trillions of texts (in spoken or written languages) by its unique algorithms. People of African descent can take up these trillions of texts as a "task" by translating them into their African native languages and earn a reward for each task.
There is also a "content moderation" feature, built for African language research experts and scholars, to ensure that the compilation of the translated datasets is properly trained and analysed in various ways to establish patterns of grammar and vocabulary usage.
OBTranslate runs an advertising affiliate marketing platform. To keep the platform profitable and pay the huge network of African translators and language research scholars around the world, it has partnered with Google and other responsible advertising networks to get their advertising content to run the platform.
When the translators and African language research scholars are done with training most of the predominantly African languages (spoken and written), a new feature will be released that is to allow the public to translate documents or text in real time from English or European languages to African languages or vice versa, Gabriel says. Further, it is planned to release some tools that will in realtime translate businesses website content, TV subtitling softwares, messaging and voice call applications.
Ines Lechner, editor, Rural 21
Visit the OBTranslate Website: https://www.obtranslate.com/