September 16, 2016
We are excited to announce that we have two new translation extensions being added to all of our courses on our website.
Currently, there are more than 160 current student registrations whose first language is Farsi, Arabic, or another language. Having translated basic courses into these languages several years ago, NU found the challenge of maintaining educational material in languages other than English to be challenging. The burdensome task in both time and costs led to a search for an alternative. This is where developing technologies presented the opportunity for a new direction. NU has now discontinued its in-house effort to translate courses.
Instead, free translation tools have been placed on every course to allow students to read in their own language. These tools are not perfect, of course, but they fall in the 70-80 percent range of accuracy. The beauty is that a student who has some knowledge of English can now instantly—yes, instantly, translate the NU site, special Word and PDF documents, and even external articles and books can be translated. With the simple touch of a mouse, the student can see the original English and the translation into over one hundred languages of choice.
Just look for the translation extensions in the top left corner of each course page. We have students in over 120 countries and whose second language is English. Currently, Google Translate supports 103 languages at various levels and Microsoft Translator supports 53 language systems as of September 2016. We know their is no perfect solution yet. But this is a great leap forward in technology for NU and will be a great benefit to our studentbody.