The first version of our automatic translation feature, while functional, was not much more than a hack into Google Translate. The site integration was problematic and not very user friendly.
But a few weeks ago Google opened an API to their translation engine and we jumped on this opportunity to finally improve this feature in MapSkip.
Here you can see the result of this development - the all-new story translation feature. The translations are now neatly integrated with the story panel in both map and story list view. And as a bonus feature it is now possible to display translations of a story into multiple languages at the same time!
The quality of the translations is of course still relatively uneven. It is very hard for a machine to understand all the nuances of human language and while the translations are generally helpful, they can still be quite entertaining and more often than not bewildering.
We see this feature very much as an investment into the future as we are confident that Google’s efforts will over time lead to translations nearly as good as from a human translator.
Until then, have fun with MapSkip’s story translations, even if the results may be just a little bit more poetic than intended…