Mantra Engine AI Helps Translate Japanese Comics Into English
Japanese tech firm Mantra released an AI program that translates Japanese comics or manga into English.
It aims to facilitate the distribution of manga titles worldwide by reducing translation time. Also, Mantra intended the app as a way to prevent readers from pirating comics.
“This system has already been adopted by more than 10 companies in Japan and overseas,” co-founder and CEO Ishiwatari Shonosuke said.
How does Mantra Engine AI work?
AI research graduates from the University of Tokyo recognize the widespread popularity of Japanese comics or manga.
However, pirated translations continue to circulate because of two reasons. First, it takes a long time to translate the latest titles.
Second, only a few comics have English translations. Consequently, Ishiwatari and his colleagues developed a way to make it easier to translate Japanese comics.
They used artificial intelligence to create a translation system called Mantra Engine that produces highly accurate and natural-sounding text from Japanese text.
Even better, it produces results within seconds! These are impressive feats when you consider modern AI chatbots and the Japanese language.
ChatGPT is the most popular Ai chatbot nowadays, but it is still prone to grammatical errors. Meanwhile, the Japanese language, or Nihongo, is vastly different from the English language.
Yet, Mantra Engine pulled it off thanks to the company’s chief technology officer Hinami Ryota.
He and the other researchers found a way for their app to match Japanese symbols with English text.
Moreover, it translates the words in a way that reads like regular English speech. CEO Ishiwatari noted how it could quell manga piracy:
“If we heighten the efficiency and release translated versions without any time lag, we can prevent pirated manga translations from emerging.….”
“…One pirate translation group has already announced that they will no longer produce titles that have been translated and released through our system.”
The team knows the limitations of Mantra Engine, so they included options to edit the translation. You may change the words, font, font size, orientation, and other settings.
Mantra Engine has a glossary so that it can implement user preferences. Also, manga creation is a team effort, so the AI tool lets users communicate with colleagues.
Mantra Engine proves AI can help promote culture by facilitating the English translation of Japanese manga.
The Philippines is also using technology to preserve and promote its traditions. For example, CEO Victor Baguilat used blockchain to promote Ifugao weaves in his Kandama NFT collection.
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