On-the-fly reference can be a pain. Say you're reading something with a word you don't understand or that's simply been written in a foreign language. Finding out what that word means usually requires a copy paste into Google and going to one of the free online dictionaries. If you're lucky enough to be using Safari on a Mac, you can just hit Cmd-Control-D, which will pull up the definition from the built-in dictionary, but that's not going to work on words outside of English, or if you're on a PC, or using another browser. … Read more
Google Translate just got more useful for a Prague citizen visiting India.
The online translation function now can understand 10 more languages: Bulgarian, Croatian, Czech, Danish, Finnish, Hindi, Norwegian, Polish, Romanian, and Swedish. That brings the total to 23 languages, Google said in a blog posting Thursday.
In addition, Google added a language-detection feature that can guess the source language a user is trying to translate. It's more effective with longer amounts of text, Google said.
Detect Language means you only have to click the language you want to translate text into.
SpeakLike uses quick automatic translation and human translators to break down language barriers over instant messaging.
It appears like an ordinary chat application as you type. Choose which languages you want to speak in. You can see what you're typing in your own language and what the other person is seeing translated. If a word or phrase is more complex, SpeakLike will go to a human translator and make sure it's accurate. The company says the more you use it the smarter it becomes and the faster it will return results in the future.
You can also add … Read more
UPDATE: Google representatives informed CNET News.com on Thursday that this "internal issue with Google Translate" has been fixed.Gawker has unearthed a rather odd bug in the Google Translate software: its English-to-Spanish translator converts the name of the actor Heath Ledger, who died tragically on Tuesday, to the name of another actor--Tom Cruise. So if you enter in "I will miss Heath Ledger," Google Translate will come back with "Voy a perder Tom Cruise."
This looks like a simple bug in the system, perhaps the work of a bored Googler somewhere in the … Read more
As has been long expected, Facebook has begun to work on making its service available in multiple languages as it expands internationally--and it's doing so by utilizing the power of its millions of users by enlisting them to volunteer a few minutes. The site has spent the past few weeks asking international users to participate in the process by installing a "Translation" application that lets them translate words on Facebook from English to their native languages. It only applies, of course, to Facebook-generated text; anything entered by users, like interests or favorite movies, remain as-is.
The Translation … Read more
SpeechGear's Compadre suite of translation software brings us one step closer the sci-fi ideal of a universal translator. The full suite of five programs gives you the ability to instantly translate anything you see, hear, or read into a ton of languages, including Spanish, German, Dutch, Iraqi, Chinese, Japanese, and more.
The most exciting portion of the software is Interact, which lets you have a near-real-time conversation with a speaker of a foreign language. You and your conversant simply speak into a microphone that's connected to your computer; the program uses voice recognition, machine translation, and speech synthesis … Read more
DearChina.org is a new site where people can cry out to the great Chinese "other" and ask it to be more sustainable. Its sentiment is admirable. "Not about criticism," according to the introductory blurb, "It's about recognizing the fact that China will play a major role in determining the possibility for a sustainable world."
The submissions, all 19 of which as I write are in English, are translated into Chinese and displayed side-to-side. Many are heart-felt and imbued with some sort of desperate positivity:Dear China, Don't do it. Don't … Read more
Any jokes about Google becoming a self-aware, humanity-destroying robot got a little closer to fruition yesterday. Google Talk (download the desktop widget), Google's homemade Jabber-based chat client, is now host to 24 (and counting) new translation bots that will take whatever text you throw at it and convert it to the appropriate language. Each of the bots was built with an open protocol called XMPP that lets anyone build their own bots and share them on the Google Talk network--as long as you've got some place to host them.
The new bots become particularly useful if you invite … Read more
Be prepared to enter into a monolog with NEC's translation software for mobile phones. Why? Because it's capable of translating only verbal Japanese to English text, and not the other way around. What this basically means is that, if you are a Japanese tourist in an English-speaking country, chances are you won't be able to understand the answer to your question even if a local managed to decipher what you are asking from your phone's screen. Sounds silly to us, but we have to give credit to NEC for solving half the equation.
Take heart, hapless Boomers. As unbelievable as it may seem, there's actually some technology beneficial to your aging generation other than keyboards with letters big enough for eye examination charts.
U.K.-based Cre8txt has developed a keypad that supposedly translates the IM slang of your literacy-challenged prodigy into the King's English, according to Shiny Shiny. When communication inevitably breaks down, just have Junior plug the device into his USB port and peck away, a la SMS. What comes out on the other end will, at least in theory, be a language that parents can comprehend.
The downside: … Read more