Home > CALL, Community, Research, Video > Google learns Gaelic

Google learns Gaelic

Five years ago Island Voices posted about “Google Gaelic“, in wake of the excitement over the recent addition of Scottish Gaelic to the list of languages supported by Google Translate. The move, while welcomed in some quarters, was not an uncontroversial one, with many people voicing fears over how it could be easily misused, for example to the detriment of people working in translation services.

The pitfalls inherent in using Google Translate, in particular to try to generate well-formed Gaelic from English input, are still very much there. However, here’s a good news story relating to translation from Gaelic into English. Our five-year old post gave a sample of English text generated by processing the Gaelic voiceover script for our peatcutting documentary through Google Translate. Five years later we’ve just done the same thing again.

You can compare the two texts here, with 2016 in the left column, and 2021 in the right. The later one is still by no means perfect, but it’s still clearly an improvement on the first version. Google is “learning”, and Island Voices welcomes that, particularly in light of the recent adoption of optional CC subtitles on our Series 1 and Series 2 films, meaning the original Gaelic can be machine translated into scores of other languages at the click of a mouse…

Categories: CALL, Community, Research, Video
  1. Kris Hughes
    20/03/2021 at 6:51 pm

    The thing I want most, as a learner, is Gaelic subtitles! That would help me connect what I’m hearing with words I might not catch.

    • Gordon Wells
      21/03/2021 at 9:52 am

      Kris, Gaelic subtitles are the default option for Series One and Two if you click CC on YouTube. See the Creative Craigard post.

  1. 18/04/2021 at 12:01 pm

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