Microsoft Research Collaborates With Wikipedia to Enhance Multilingual ContentBy Microsoft Corp., PRNE
Sunday, October 17, 2010
WikiBhasha tool will help simplify and speed up the process of creating multilingual content in Wikipedias.
REDMOND, Washington, October 18, 2010 - Microsoft Research today 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. The WikiBhasha beta is available as an open source MediaWiki
extension, under the Apache License 2.0 at
svn.wikimedia.org/viewvc/mediawiki/trunk/extensions/WikiBhasha, and as
a user gadget in Wikipedia. The tool is also available as an installable
bookmarklet at www.wikibhasha.org, which is hosted on the Windows
Azure platform from Microsoft Corp. The name WikiBhasha derives from the
well-known term "wiki," denoting collaboration, and "bhasha," which means
"language" in Hindi and Sanskrit.
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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. 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
"We're always happy to see work on improving multilingual collaboration
between wikis," said Danese Cooper, CTO of the Wikimedia Foundation.
"Microsoft Research is doing some interesting work with WikiBhasha, and we're
very pleased that it chose to share its client code in open source as well."
By making it easier for the Wikipedia community to create multilingual
content, Wikipedia and Microsoft Research hope to inspire a new wave of
multilingual content creation.
"The WikiBhasha beta holds the promise of enabling easy creation of
content in multiple languages, and also of generating a large body of
parallel language data for researchers to work on to further machine
translation technology," said P. Anandan, managing director, Microsoft
Research India. "Creating quality content in multiple languages can be
greatly improved and accelerated with the active participation of the
The WikiBhasha beta is a browser-based tool that works on Wikipedia
sites. It features an intuitive and simple user interface (UI) layer that
stays on the target-language Wikipedia for the entire content creation
process. This UI layer integrates content discovery with linguistic and
collaborative services, focusing the user primarily on content creation in
the target Wikipedia. A simple three-step process guides the user in the
content discovery and sourcing from English Wikipedia articles, composing a
local-language Wikipedia article and publishing it in the target Wikipedia.
Although a typical session may be to enhance a target-language Wikipedia
article, new articles may also be created following a similar process. The
WikiBhasha beta currently works on Windows Internet Explorer (7.0 and 8.0) on
Windows XP, Windows Vista and Windows 7, and on Firefox (3.5 or above) on
Linux Fedora (11 and 12), Windows XP, Windows Vista and Windows 7.
WikiBhasha, which is supported by Microsoft's Machine Translation system
and Microsoft's Collaborative Translations Framework, was conceptualized by
the Multilingual Systems (research.microsoft.com/en-us/groups/mls/)
Group at Microsoft Research India
(research.microsoft.com/en-us/labs/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
(research.microsoft.com/en-us/groups/nlp/) Group in Microsoft Research
A video tutorial that familiarizes users with the rich functionalities
offered by the beta of WikiBhasha can be found at www.wikibhasha.org.
About Microsoft Research
Founded in 1991, Microsoft Research is dedicated to conducting both basic
and applied research in computer science and software engineering.
Researchers focus on more than 55 areas of computing and collaborate with
leading academic, government and industry researchers to advance the state of
the art. Microsoft Research has expanded over the years to eight locations
worldwide and a number of collaborative projects that bring together the best
minds in computer science to advance a research agenda based on their unique
talents and interests.
Microsoft Research has locations in Redmond, Wash.; Cambridge, Mass.;
Silicon Valley, Calif.; Cambridge, England; Beijing, China; and Bangalore,
India, and also conducts research at the Cairo Microsoft Innovation Center in
Egypt; European Microsoft Innovation Centre in Aachen, Germany; and the
eXtreme Computing Group in Redmond. Microsoft Research collaborates openly
with colleges and universities worldwide to enhance the teaching and learning
experience, inspire technological innovation, and broadly advance the field
of computer science. More information can be found at
Founded in 1975, Microsoft (Nasdaq: MSFT) is the worldwide leader in
software, services and solutions that help people and businesses realize
their full potential.
Mike Houlihan, +1-503-443-7157, mhoulihan at waggeneredstrom.com, Rapid Response Team, +1-503-443-7070, rrt at waggeneredstrom.com, both for Microsoft; NOTE TO EDITORS: For more information, news and perspectives from Microsoft, please visit the Microsoft News Center at www.microsoft.com/news. Web links, telephone numbers and titles were correct at time of publication, but may have changed. For additional assistance, journalists and analysts may contact Microsoft's Rapid Response Team or other appropriate contacts listed at www.microsoft.com/news/contactpr.mspx.
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