Monday, April 18, 2011

GOOGLE MAKES YOU MULTILINGUAL

With social networking taking the centre position in today's world, communication nowadays is turning out to be more of textual and graphical than verbal.
How many friends do you have on facebook or twitter, and how many of them update their status in foreign languages? That is becoming a trend. Did you know that not all of them actually speak what they write? ;)
Thanks to Google Translate, everyone nowadays can comprehend and communicate in any language!


Overview
Google translate is one of the Google products which enables users to translate words or phrases from their original language. It works without the intervention of human translators, using state-of-the-art technology instead. Google translate currently supports translation between 57 languages all over the world.
How it works
The best part of it is that Google translate is very easy to use! Its user interface provides the user with a field to input text and choose the source language (language of the original text) and the destination. Leave the rest to Google once you click the “translate”, and you will get the text in a language of your use.
Interesting Features
Amongst many features, Google translate comes with the following:
  1. Language Detector
It is not necessary to tell Google Translate the language of your text, Just type in what you want to translate and provided that it is typed in any of the supported languages, Translate will automatically detect that language, so all you need to do is to specify the destination language.
  1. Supported Languages:
Google translate currently supports translation between the following 57 languages:
·  Afrikaans
·  Serbian
·  Albanian
·  Slovak
·  Armenian (Alpha)
·  Slovenian
·  Azerbaijani (Alpha)
·  Spanish
·  Arabic
·  Swahili
·  Basque (Alpha)
·  Swedish
·  Thai
·  Bulgarian
·  Turkish
·  Catalan
·  Ukrainian
·  Urdu (Alpha)
·  Croatian
·  Welsh
·  Czech
·  Yiddish
·  Danish

·  Dutch


3.  Input text phonetically
Many languages are difficult to type if you don't own a special layout keyboard for that script. When translating from Russian, Hindi, Serbian, Greek, Arabic, Persian or Urdu, you'll see an "Allow phonetic typing" checkbox near the input area. This feature allows you to type these languages as they sound in English - for example, "aap" for "आप" in Hindi. When you press space, the word will be converted to Hindi script, and its translation will be displayed below. The phonetic typing feature is on by default; uncheck the checkbox to turn it off, when you want to input Roman characters. Phonetic typing does not interfere if you are using a native-layout keyboard for such languages.

4.  Read and listen to your translation

If you're trying to translate to a non-Roman script, you'll see a Read phonetically link next to the translation. Clicking this link will spell out the translation in Roman (Latin) characters. This feature is currently available for Armenian, Belarusian, Bulgarian, Chinese, Georgian, Greek, Hindi, Japanese, Korean, Macedonian, Maltese, Russian, Serbian, Thai and Ukrainian.
For many languages, you may see also a speaker button near the translated text. Click this icon to hear a machine-generated spoken version of your translation. This feature is currently available for English, French, German, Haitian Creole, Hindi, Italian and Spanish.
An experimental text-to-speech system (TTS) is available for several other languages, powered by the eSpeak open-source speech synthesizer: Afrikaans, Albanian, Catalan, Chinese (Mandarin), Croatian, Czech, Danish, Dutch, Finnish, Greek, Hungarian, Icelandic, Indonesian, Latvian, Macedonian, Norwegian, Polish, Portuguese, Romanian, Russian, Serbian, Slovak, Swahili, Swedish, Turkish, Vietnamese and Welsh. You may notice significant differences in speech quality between the experimental languages and the other available languages.
5.  Instant Translation
You do not have to finish typing and click “translate” for the translation to take effect. As you continue typing, translate automatically displays the output text in the destination language. 
6.   Search Translator
Sometimes the best results for your search query won't be in your language. To make your search truly global, try our "Translated Search" option in Google Search. It determines which languages have the best information for your query and translates web results from those languages back to yours.
7.  Communication translator

Gmail

What if you receive an important email – but it's not in your language? If you use Gmail, it can automatically translate foreign email messages into your own language. Just enable the feature in Gmail Labs. Here’s how.

While in Gmail, you can also have a multilingual chat with your pen-pal from overseas. Add the Google Translate Chat Bot to your conversation and break down the language barrier.

Google Groups

Ever wanted to have a discussion with people from across the world? Take a look at the translate features in Google Groups – you can post messages in your language and see responses from users from all over the world, translated into your language. We love the feature and use it on our own discussion group to connect with our users.
Try it now: Visit the Google Translate Discussion Group.

Google Moderator

Want to have a multilingual debate? Use Google Moderator – it automatically translates questions and comments from other languages to yours.
Try it now: Visit Google Moderator.

Google Docs

Translate entire documents, and phrases and words within documents, in Google Docs. Learn how to here.
Try it now: Start a document in Google Docs.

YouTube

Want to attract an international audience on YouTube? With a few clicks, you can transcribe your videos automatically and add translated closed captions. Learn how to here.

Not just text translation!!!!
You thought this supports only typed in text translation. With Google Translate Toolkit, you get more:
  • Traslate webpages
  • Translate and publish wikipedia articles
  • Upload and translate documents
  • Plus much more.
In my next post I will take us deeper into a more advanced section of Google translate, the translate toolkit. Expect it soon.
So the next time someone communicates to you in a social network in Japanese don’t panic!!! Grab your translate.google.com in a new tab and keep the conversation going!!!! ;)

2 comments:

  1. It'd be very interesting to be able to translate blog posts and even Wikipedia articles!

    ReplyDelete
  2. I agree with you Ray, and yes, thanks to Google Translate toolkit, all that is possible!!!

    ReplyDelete

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