Microsoft and Wikipedia colloborates to launch wikiBhasha

Microsoft Research has announced the launch of the beta version of WikiBhasha, a multilingual content creation tool for Wikipedia. The WikiBhasha tool enables contributors to Wikipedia to find content from other Wikipedia articles, translate the content into other languages, and then either compose new articles or enhance existing articles in multilingual Wikipedias.

WikiBhasha will support content creation in more than 30 languages. The beta version of WikiBhasha will enable easy content creation in non-English Wikipedias by leveraging the large volume of English Wikipedia content as the source of information.

WikiBhasha has an easy to use, intuitive user interface, and enables easy and quick translation of articles from English to more than 30 other languages that are supported by Microsoft’s Machine Translation system and Microsoft’s Collaborative Translation Framework.

Initially, the Wikimedia Foundation and Microsoft Research will also work closely with the Wikipedia user communities focusing on content creation in Arabic, German, Hindi, Japanese, Portuguese and Spanish.

WikiBhasha, supported by Microsoft’s Machine Translation system and Microsoft’s Collaborative Translations Framework, was conceptualized by the Multilingual Systems Group at Microsoft Research India.

The Multilingual Systems Group explores multilingual and cross-language technologies that work seamlessly across languages, and in creation of resources for aiding computational linguistics research. The tool was developed in collaboration with the Natural Language Processing Group in Microsoft Research Redmond.

The name WikiBhasha derives from the well-known term “wiki,” denoting collaboration, and “bhasha,” which means “language” in Hindi.

The WikiBhasha beta is available as an open source MediaWiki extension, under the Apache License 2.0 at Wikimedia, and as a user gadget in Wikipedia. The tool is also available as an installable bookmarklet at WikiBhasha, which is hosted on the Windows Azure platform from Microsoft.

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