Yelp Launches Mobile Review Translation On iPhone

    August 7, 2014
    Chris Crum
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Yelp announced the launch of automated review translation in its iPhone app. They offer reviews in fifteen languages in 27 countries. As the company continues to expand internationally, this will only become more important.

The app makes use of Bing Translator (you didn’t think they were going to go with Google, did you?), and lets you tap to translate a single review or all reviews.

“Although machine-translation is not perfect, it’s a fantastic resource for understanding the overall meaning and context of a review that would otherwise be unavailable to a Yelper who does not speak that language,” says Yelp international product manager Stepanie T. “Use this feature to get a general idea of a reviewer’s experience, but understand that some details may be lost in translation.”

“Yelp has always given both locals and travelers alike the ability to find the best hidden gems through the knowledge of the Yelp global community, and mobile review translation makes that even easier,’ she adds. “This tool also gives local businesses that are a bit off the beaten path a better chance to be discovered by travelers. Sounds like a win-win situation to us!”

Yelp supports English, Czech, Danish, Dutch, Finnish, German, Spanish, Italian, Norwegian, French, Polish, Portuguese, Swedish, Turkish, and Japanese.The translation feature will come to its Android app soon.

Image via Yelp

  • Manuel Herranz Pérez

    If a company manages big, multilingual data, my guess would be that it makes sense to own its own kind of machine translation technology rather than rely on external and 3rd party plugins. That signals you’ve given up technological independence. Thus, Ebay’s acquisition of Apptek (after trying on their own) made sense as Ebay did not want to rely on 3rd parties in international business. Multilingualism is core to the company as it trades internationally. Samsung financed the acquisition of Systran via CSLI. Systran is the biggest machine translation company in the world. Facebook uses Bing translator but it also acquired a machine translation start-up. Languages and multilingual data means business. Other machine translation technologies like pangeamt.com by Pangeanic may be a target for integration in someone’s shopping list. After all, being the first commercial application of Moses, a founding member of TAUS, whose data it has used to train thousands of engines yet privately owned may make it to good to miss.