Adam Feldman, APIs Product Manager of Google, announced today that they will continue the Google Translate service API as a paid service. This service was previously announced as being terminated at years-end 2011.
Oz Linden has filed a Jira at https://jira.secondlife.com/browse/VWR-25898 to remove the translator. Please, do the millions of people who use Second Life a huge favor. Go the the Jira, log in, and add your comment. Click WATCH this Issue in the upper right corner. Votes don't count. The Lindens decide what to work on by volume of comments, what makes sense, and how many are watching. Lets put some heat on the Lindens to make a simple change that can literally effect millions of us!
It would be a huge tragedy to lose translation in Second Life. If you cannot chat, you are mute. If you cannot read, you are deaf. This will effect everyone, including English users, as we are only about 40% of the current SL user base. Imagine how it will be if a more typical 2% language group can no longer chat with 98% of us. And they add up to 60% of the user base!
As I posted in my comments in the Jira, there is a simple way out of this jam. The Lindens could easily make Google translation continue for those who wish to pay by simply adding a text field for the API key into the Ctrl-P preferences. They could also easily add the free Bing translation, which in many ways is superior to Google, though with fewer languages.
Even if they remove translation from the viewer, scripted translators, like my free Google Translator, are easily modifiable to accept an API key from Bing or Google. I can assure you I am working hard on continuing my free scripted translator. All you will have to do to keep your scripted translator running is register a free account at Bing, click a link, and copy and paste the API key into chat. Bings allows 1000 translations per day for free. This may change as a flood of developers heads their way. It has been estimated that over 600 Android Apps will get shut off by Google, and a lot of them will move to Bing.
There are over 103,659 of my free Google version in use today, so it will take some time for me to test this next update and push it out to all the current users.
I'll have to wait and see what the costs are for the text translators and decide what to do first. If the costs are reasonable, I'll just pay them. My free Chat-to-Speech translator costs me a few pennies every time it is used, which I just pay out of pocket as the costs are nominal for the few thousand users I have so far. Demo for viewer 2 users is here: http://secondlife.mitsi.com/cgi/llspeaker.plx . A free Viewer 1 version and a free HUD-based viewer 2 version are inside the dome next to the rez point. Here is the SLURL
If you want one of the free scripted Google translators, you can get also them at Phaze Demesnes, Hyles, Help People Island, Hanja, Kuula, ITLAND, and inside the University at Caledon Oxbridge.
~ Ferd Frederix