Pangaea support team combines language resources or linguistic services of Language Grid and existing tools, including bulletin board systems and chat systems, to support the multilingual communication that takes place under NPO Pangaea.

The goal of this project is to invigorate community activity. Today, numerous communities participate in international activities. The key to the success of these activities is for people all over the world to be able to communicate verbally or to exchange information. However, communication problems often occur because the official language of the community is not the first language of the participants.

NPO Pangaea's mission is to be the peace engineering laboratory for the creation of the universal playground, where children across the world can develop personal bonds transcending the boundaries of language, time, and space.

Screenshot of AnnoChat
Fig.1 AnnoChat

Pangaea has bases all over the world. Thus, language barriers exist between them, and communication between the staff of each base is difficult, as is organizing and holding web cam events.

Our team combines language resources or linguistic services of Language Grid and existing tools, including bulletin board systems and chat systems, to support the multilingual communication that takes place under NPO Pangaea.

We use multilingual chat tool AnnoChat, which combines a multilingual translation and chat system and a multilingual input tool, Langrid Input. These tools enable staff to communicate with each other and carry out office work using their first language.

The tools actually in use and the way they are used are described next.

AnnoChat -multilingual chat tool using Language Grid-

AnnoChat is a chat tool translating the input message multilingually and displaying the translated multilingual messages. Users can use this tool to chat using their first language. The tool translates by using language resources of the Language Grid.

System of AnnoChat

Fig.2 System of AnnoChat

When a user inputs a message in the AnnoChat System, a workflow deployed on the Language Grid is invoked. The workflow then invokes a web service to replace community words and one to translate messages. The AnnoChat server receives the results of the workflow and displays these messages.

Usage of multilingual chat system in Pangaea

Photo showing usage of multilingual chat system in Pangaea
Photo showing usage of multilingual chat system in Pangaea
Photo showing usage of multilingual chat system in Pangaea

Involving communication between staff in faraway bases

Figure showing communication between staff in faraway bases
Fig.3 Between staff in faraway bases

Pangaea has bases all over the world, and many local staff and volunteers work at these facilities. Thus, the people at each base need to communicate with each other a lot. However, many of the people at the bases can talk only in their first language. Thus, communication is often slow and awkward. Using the multilingual chat system enables staff to communicate in their first language and reduce the stress involved in such communication.

Communication in face-to-face meetings

Figure showing communication during face-to-face meeting
Fig.4 Face-to-face meeting

Staff meetings for web cam events are usually held in English because the staff members have different first languages. Because many local staff are poor at English conversation, the meetings often have communication shortcomings, or the staff feel a significant amount of stress.

For these meetings, we display AnnoChat by a projector to enable smoother communication. A speaker uses English, and people who are good at English input the content into AnnoChat. Other staff can then read this content displayed in AnnoChat in their first language and understand what the speaker has said. Moreover, local staff can input their questions or opinions in their first language.

Usage of community dictionary

This story involved a staff member reporting Pangaea activity. The staff member inputted "what menu...?" to ask what Pangaea activity menu (play) they used. Another volunteer staff member misinterpreted the word 'menu', and she replied "fish and ...".
We then added 'menu' to the Pangaea's community dictionary. Since then, staff no longer misinterpret 'menu' and communicate more smoothly than when using a commonly used translator.
Thus, adding words to Pangaea's community dictionary produces a translation system that is specific to Pangaea.

Langrid Input -A translation tool for inputting multilingual text-

Langrid Input is a Language Grid tool that provides support when inputting text by using multilingual translation. For example, when a staff member who is poor at writing English must prepare an e-mail message in English, he can obtain a text translated into English by only inputting a message to this tool in his first language. He can then check that the translation is correct by reading the message of "Back Treanslation". Thus, he can write e-mail more smoothly. Because this tool can include a community dictionary, even technical terms can be translated correctly.

Voice of staff members

President, NPO Pangaea : Yumiko Mori
Photo of Yumiko Mori


We used to try to have regular meetings in English with German-speaking staff in Vienna and Korean speaking staff in Seoul, as we did not have an alternative, but this did not work. We can now chat in real time with these staff with the help of the Language Grid. It is wonderful as well as convenient to have a new communication channel between distant bases.

Executive director, NPO Pangaea: Takekazu Hanada
Photo of Takekazu Hanada

The Pangaea office receives many inquiries from all over the world. Thus, I make extensive use of the Langrid Input to handle these inquiries and operations overseas. When I received a request to be a volunteer from a person in Korea, I replied in Korean. Recently, I requested adding new content to the Korean homepage. Previously, I needed a long time to write e-mail in English, but now, I can communicate more smoothly with an accurate translation by using back translation.

Seoul volunteer staff : Eun-jung Yoon
Vienna volunteer staff : Mag. Milanka Jovanović-Teašulov
Photo of Eun-jung Yoon A multilingual chat tool is a very interest in g program. It solves our language-barrier problems. I would get stressed talking with you if it did not exist. It also has pictograms. It is very attractive and makes communication clear. Photo of Mag. Milanka Jovanovi-Teasulov The multilingual chat tool is just great and also fun. Personally, I enjoy it as I can have beneficial and amusing conversations with Yumi.

PANGAEA Web page

Web cam activity between Seoul and Mie, Japan held in March 2007 (Movie) : MIZY Center

SIG (Special Interest Group)

Type-3 SIG

Members

Leader Satoshi Sakai
(Ishida and Matsubara Lab. Department of Social Informatics, Graduate School of Informatics, Kyoto University)
Member Takashi Yoshino
(Yoshino Lab. Department of Design and Information Sciences, Faculty of Systems Engineering, Wakayama University)
Rieko Inaba
(Language Grid Project, National Institute of Information and Communications Technology)
Tomohiro Shigenobu
(Language Grid Project, National Institute of Information and Communications Technology)
Toshiyuki Takasaki
(NPO Pangaea)

Contact

E-Mail  contactmailaddresspangaeasupport.langrid.org