Thursday, June 18, 2009


I am trying out three different translators at the moment.

No 1, Yahoo's Babelfish, has a drop-down list and seems efficient, but only has 12 languages. This one is available with flags as an alternative.

No 2, by Google Translate, has flags and 24 languages, and also seems efficient. And it has the advantage of offering a floater (or whatever they are called) with the original text, to read alongside the translation.

No 3, from Widgetbox, has a drop-down list of about 40 languages !!, and takes up the least space (bonus point), but appears the least efficient, as I have not managed to make it translate into German, Italian, Spanish, Dutch or Welsh. I did however get a Latin translation from it, from which I learned that my blog is called NON MORTUUS ETIAMNUNC! in Latin. Sounds impressive, even if it may be rather rough Latin!

I shall be very pleased if anyone cares to try any of them out, and leave an opinion of their relative efficiency and appeal. Eventually I shall have to delete two of them.


gillian said...

Although I've been studying German for barely a year, I've always found that Babelfish's German knowledge is somewhat lacking. French and Spanish usually work--still, though, I usually only use Babelfish for quick word lookups.

I've always liked Google's translator for more complex sentences. I've never heard of the third one you mentioned, but I really like it! I think I'll try that one out.

I bookmark and use it regularly. It's my favorite free translation site out there. You should try it--only six languages, but pretty thorough.

annie said...

Google Translator is the only one that I have tried. Christina Alvner has a place on her blog STRIBERGS STATION where you can click on your language and it will translate the page. Well, for that kind of translation, GOOGLE should be CALLED GARGLE OR GARBLED. It is hilarious. It must just translate the word out of context, not idioms or phrases. So if you get to a preposition like TO or FROM, it may say Tuesday or Thursday. I AM able to get some idea when there are photos or sketches that go along with the script. But often I write Christina and say' Wot'n L??!!" And she explains.

IF YOU FIND A GOOD TRANSLATOR< Please tell us about it.

annie said...

PS, I am going to check the email function so I'll get comments about translators.

Jen said...

What fun! As I speak several languages (I'm not boasting, honest!) I have'nt really had to use any online translators so far, but now I know about these I shall try one on the Finnish/Scandinavian blogs I like to read.
Anyway, I tried them out and I prefer Babelfish; the second one wasn't bad but Babelfish's grammar came out best. The third one said I wasn't allowed to view the page "with the credentials I had supplied"!!

kapgaf said...

Hi Judith,

I tried all 3 into French but no 3 didn't work. No's 1 and 2 were similar in quality. However, I never use these kinds of translators because they don't deal with context and can make the wrong choice (just think of the word "minute" - we know from context whether it means 60 seconds or very small but a computer doesn't!).

Bear in mind (and just think of the fun that computer translators could have with "bear"!) that a lot of the people who read blogs speak English and that there are a lot of people who write their blogs in English even if it isn't their mother tongue. As people who want to translate web pages can do so from their browser, I'd say that it's really just a gadget rather than something that you need on your blog where one of the things I appreciate is how uncluttered it is!

Judith said...

Thank you all for trying out the translators. No great concensus there, unless it is that they are all equally useless!

Thanks for the tip about translation2, Gillian,although it appears to have many more than six languages.

Kapgaf, I find your words about uncluttered websites most persuasive, so I think I shall take these things down now. It is good to know you consider my blog uncluttered - so far - but it is such a temptation to go on adding stuff.

kapgaf said...

I recently came across an article about clutter (while looking up how to blog - I'm getting there by slow degrees!):

Stephen said...

Whe Google Wave comes out later this year, all these will be out of date anyway Judith! :-)

Avus said...

These translation services are OK for looking up the odd word. However, I once tried translating a sentence into German and then a "reverse translation" back into English - the result was absolute gobbledegook! So I don't trust 'em

Susan said...

Hi Judith,

have only used Google translate and for German, French and Arabic it is not particularly good. If you can speak a bit of the first and second it is fine to get a general meaning but the Arabic is more than horrible!!!

focusfinder said...

Cool blog, thanks Judith. Congrats too on your Cert SS.

And yes, I am the chap who works with Sheila.

Epson Cartridges said...

Thanks for sharing! I've been learning three languages for months already.

neelsoon said...

OF all the tranlators in there i'had only used google and babelfish.

And i'had found google to be more accuratte.