Translating web pages



I don’t know if I’ve mentioned it before here, but languages are one of the things that fascinate me. I’ve studied Spanish, German and French. Although right now I would barely be able to recognize a handful of words in German and French. Of late, spanish has been the language I’ve focused on *(3 1/2 years at this point.) My goal was to spend at least 5 years reading/listening to *just* one language (in addition to my native English…) anyway, I’m at a point where I feel like I have a very good understanding of written spanish, pretty good understanding of much spoken spanish (depends on the accent/pace/pronunciation of the speaker, but in some cases I feel that way with English as well…….) From time to time though, I’ve used web tools to automatically translate a page or a bit of text to see how well I’m understanding….


For years, Babelfish has been a site I visit quite frequently. Unfortunately I’ve seen it give some pretty hideous translations, maybe where it chose the wrong meaning of a word where the context would imply otherwise, or maybe it just worded things EXTREMELY awkwardly (spelling?)…

Anyway, I was reminded recently of Google’s Language tools and in fact had run across a study claiming that they were among the best of the automated translation engines out there. I gave it a test run with a few bits of text and found the results surprisingly readable and coherent. There were maybe a few awkward phrases here or there, but I’m sure I probably say a few things awkwardly in English….

Of course, I also saw a recent study that suggested 18-25 year olds do poorly with geography and although many could find China on a map, many think that English is their primary language…… I’m hoping the visitors to this site are a bit more clued in than that… but it’s one of the lesser known services at google and a good way to get a web page translated with fairly good reliability.

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