Ted.com translation stats for December 2009

Saturday, December 26, 2009

Ted.com translation stats are a bit like those on Wikipedia as it's fun to watch languages compete with each other (though of course there really isn't any official interlinguistic competition) for translation dominance. I wrote a post last month on how Bulgarian has just about the highest number of translations on Ted.com (only surpassed by Portuguese and Spanish), and it's still in third place. Here's a screen shot for posterity of the current stats, and the change over the past six weeks for each language. Note that this screenshot just shows the languages with the most translated speeches, and that there are many others with just a few so if your language doesn't show up on this list is doesn't mean that there aren't any translated speeches on the site.


Here's the change over the past six weeks:

Arabic: 176 --> 206 (+30)
Bulgarian: 231 --> 295 (+64)
Chinese (both traditional and simplified): 226 --> 289 (+63)
Croatian: 25 --> 30 (+5)
Czech: 21 --> 28 (+7)
Dutch: 33 --> 47 (+14)
French: 147 --> 191 (+44)
German: 88 --> 121 (+33)
Greek: 74 --> 79 (+5)
Hebrew: 87 --> 105 (+18)
Hungarian: 66 --> 88 (+22)
Indonesian: ? --> 30 (new on list)
Italian: 101 --> 140 (+39)
Japanese: 152 --> 186 (+34)
Korean: 115 --> 150 (+35)
Persian: 68 --> 74 (+6)
Polish: 84 --> 123 (+39)
Portuguese (Brazil + Portugal): 262 --> 333 (+71)
Romanian: 109 --> 138 (+29)
Russian: 118 --> 131 (+13)
Spanish: 342 --> 418 (+76)
Swedish: 25 --> 35 (+10)
Turkish: 85 --> 108 (+23)
Ukrainian: 22 --> dropped off list

Or organized by most recent activity, we get this order:

Spanish: 342 --> 418 (+76)
Portuguese (Brazil + Portugal): 262 --> 333 (+71)
Bulgarian: 231 --> 295 (+64)
Chinese (both traditional and simplified): 226 --> 289 (+63)
French: 147 --> 191 (+44)
Italian: 101 --> 140 (+39)
Polish: 84 --> 123 (+39)
Korean: 115 --> 150 (+35)
Japanese: 152 --> 186 (+34)
German: 88 --> 121 (+33)
Arabic: 176 --> 206 (+30)
Romanian: 109 --> 138 (+29)
Turkish: 85 --> 108 (+23)
Hungarian: 66 --> 88 (+22)
Hebrew: 87 --> 105 (+18)
Dutch: 33 --> 47 (+14)
Russian: 118 --> 131 (+13)
Swedish: 25 --> 35 (+10)
Czech: 21 --> 28 (+7)
Persian: 68 --> 74 (+6)
Greek: 74 --> 79 (+5)
Croatian: 25 --> 30 (+5)



Indonesian: ? --> 30 (new on list)
Ukrainian: 22 --> dropped off list


All the languages there in the high 30s are therefore those in which even information addicts can watch a daily Ted.com video without having to stray from their native tongue.

3 comments:

lyzazel said...

On that matter, I totally don't get why they have Brazillian Portuguese and European Portuguese. It's totally intellegible and I'm pretty sure having the two results in a copy-paste translation anyway.

I'd go with Brazillian and that's it.

데이빛 / Mithridates said...

I agree. It's certainly nothing compared to the difference between simplified vs. traditional Chinese.

Matt said...

So, this doesn't quite have to do with Ted.com, but it is about another website with somewhat similar goals and principles.

What do you think about Forvo.com? I don't know whether or not you're already familiar with it, but if you're not, basically, it's supposed to be an audio pronunciation guide for words in different languages. Its goal is to offer the pronunciations of "all the words in the world", though obviously it's still a work in progress.

Still, I know how you like examining the "progress" of "minority" languages, such as Bulgarian on Ted or Portuguese on Twitter, and it is rather interesting to see which languages have the most support from native speakers (for the record, Portuguese currently holds the top spot, right above English).

I first found it last night when trying to find a guide for how to pronounce various composers' names (such as Enescu, Milhaud, and Satie). It was a pleasant find.

Any thoughts on it? I trust that it's accurate, since the pronunciations are supposed to be by native speakers, but I—the monoglot that I am—have no way to verify such a thing.

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