Talking tech since 2003

“And to add insult to injury, he really took him for a ride. A picture is worth a thousand words, yet actions speak louder than words.” Phrases like this all share one common trait, ambiguity. Not only can they be difficult for language learners to conceptualize, or for native speakers to explain, but they can leave even the most advanced speaker in any language, puzzled.

No matter the language, they all seem to be filled with idiosyncratic sayings that make sense, if given context or further explanation. How do you say “take a chill pill” in German, or what about “when s*%! hits the fan?”  

French startup Reverso is aiming to eliminate questions like this, with the release of Reverso Context 6.0. The latest version of the app taps Artificial Intelligence, Big Data, Hollywood films and popular television shows to provide contextualized translations for its nearly five million users.

For instance, imagine talking to a native Spanish speaker, and saying: “He cried wolf for the last time,” Reverso Context takes the phrase, and provides users with a number of real-life examples from popular films, television shows, and official documents.

I decided to test out Reverso Context myself, so I searched for ‘the boy who cried wolf,’ and immediately recognized one of the many notable quotes, designed to provide users with more clarity. To my surprise, one of the first examples I noticed was from The Office: I’d like to rat out Andy, but unfortunately I have a bit of a “boy who cried wolf” dynamic with David Wallace.”

Reverso hopes to bring 6.0’s contextualized translation technology and language learning tools to new and existing users, which features an improved UI, updated Speak-to-translate, pronunciation from native speakers and the ability to save, annotate and share translations with friends offline.

The app’s developer also released a number of new language learning tools such as flashcards for users to practice previously searched words, language-related quizzes to help users learn new words and statistics and charts to track progress. Reverso Context currently supports  Arabic, German, Spanish, French, Hebrew, Italian, Dutch, Polish, Dutch, Portuguese, Romanian and Russian, and is available for download on iOS and Android.


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