13 July 2015

Global Name Translation (TM) Technology launched by MyHeritage

If you’ve ever researched names across multiple countries, it doesn’t take long to realize that there is no such thing as “a” name.  Both forenames and surnames were often translated as ancestors moved from one country to another.  Sometimes within one generation, a family may have lived in several different locations.

Back when I was doing a lot of European research, I used to keep name translation lists by my side so that as I was researching passenger lists I would be able to better consider all the different ways my ancestors names might have been spelled.

Well, MyHeritage recently accounted its Global Name TranslationTM Technology.

We’re delighted to announce the launch of Global Name Translation™, a new technology unique to MyHeritage, to help break through those language barriers in the quest to uncover your past.

This innovation now makes it even easier to discover your global roots. The technology automatically translates names found in historical records and family trees from one language into another, at very high accuracy, generating all plausible translations, to facilitate matches between names in different languages. In addition, a manual search on MyHeritage's SuperSearch, will return results in other languages, automatically translated into the language of the query.

Read the full news release for more details and examples of how the new feature works.

I did a quick test of this on a name that always was a bit of a challenge for me – Wasil Barna (though one challenge was enumerators and clerks often reversing the name!).  I was curious to see what “finds” the new feature yielded.  Besides Wasil/Wasyl it came up with Vasile and most impressively Basillus and Bazyli – these were two variants that I did come across and were important when I researched passenger records (he was listed as Barna Bazyli) and records in Poland (Basilius Barna). 

It took me quite a while to correlate these found names with what I started with, Wasil!  With the new MyHeritage Global Name TranslationTM Technology I would have been able to recognize these records for their relevance that much faster!

NOTE: I do not currently have a subscription to MyHeritage which prevented my accessing any records and I was still able to use the "search" feature to determine what name variants were located in the MyHeritage database.  

Let us know if the MyHeritage Global Name TranslationTM Technology helps you identify relevant family records that you would have previously overlooked !

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