New translation method in the Europeana API

14August2014Comment

We have recently released a new translation method in the Europeana API.

Given the multilingual nature of the Europeana content, it's always been an ambition to provide tools that ensure that a simple search will retrieve objects from collections with metadata in different languages.

translateQuery.json is a wrapper that uses the Wikipedia API to return suggested translations in user-defined langauges and constructs the query syntax to then use in a standard search.

A sample API call would be

http://europeana.eu/api/v2/translateQuery.json?languageCodes=en,de,fr,it,es&wskey=xxxxxx&term=butterfly

which returns a json response that includes

"translatedQuery":"Butterfly OR Tagfalter OR Rhopalocères OR Farfalla"

Users would then place that query string into a standard search.json call, which in this case adds over 500 records to the results compared to a simple search for just 'butterfly'.

Languages should be defined using the two-letter codes according to the ISO 639-1 standard. All we ask is that you don't run search queries with more than about 6 'OR' options as that puts quite a strain on our server!

Further documentation will be provided, but in the meantime there's some further detail in our changelog.

The same methodology has been employed on our own search portal, and you can find more about the background to this on our blog - Improving search across languages