January/February 2012 Newsbrief Announcements

Translation Service Ortsbo

We have recently come across a real-time chat translation service named Ortsbo that seems like it could be very helpful for the Mission. What it does is: While you are chatting with someone in a chat service such as Facebook Chat, select the language you will be using and the language the other person understands, and your chat messages will automatically be translated as you type them for the other person to read. Then, when the other person types in his language, his words will be automatically translated back into your language for you to read!

Here are a few articles about Ortsbo for more information: 1, 2

This service might make it much easier to communicate with someone through a language barrier, and could be very helpful for spreading the teachings in other languages or speaking to people interested in the Mission that do not understand English. Therefore we encourage everyone to look into this and see if it can help you in your outreach, social networking, etc.

To use Ortsbo, load up their online app (version 1, version 2 - use whichever one works on your computer), or download their mobile apps for iPhone, Android, or Windows Phone. Then choose the chat service you want to use (it currently supports Facebook Chat, Google Talk, and Windows Live/MSN Messenger, and says that others will be available soon) and input your username and password for your account and the language you will be typing in. A list of your friends should appear, at which point you can choose who you want to chat with, set the language to translate your words to, and start typing.

Although this is a very promising and innovative idea, it does have its shortcomings. It uses machine translation, similar to Google Translate, meaning that the translation will not be perfect, especially with more complex words and concepts (such as many things in the Mission and spirituality, unfortunately). Also, the website is difficult to navigate, and the application does not seem to work perfectly and has some bugs. Still, we think it would be worth looking into, and hope that it will further improve and become another great tool for the Mission's work!

You can contact us if you have trouble getting Ortsbo to work and we will try to help you (or contact Ortsbo directly!).

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