Translating the web, and free language training

Photo courtesy of ©iStockphoto.com/Duncan1890

“How can we get 100 million people translating the web into every major language for free?”

Does this sound like a crazy question? I thought so initially, and I still have a few caveats, but I’m very impressed by the outrageous ambition of the ‘duolingo‘ initiative that follows …

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Test results for comparison of free online translation tools – update

A commentator on my Blog recently pointed out that my post on universal language translation, and the test results of various online language translators failed to cover Bing (Microsoft) Translator – a huge error on my part?  Well clearly it is an obvious ommission, but I consider my approach to have been solid (I took the top 10 results from Google, but obbiously Google is biased in a big way against Microsoft, but interestingly seemingly less so against Yahoo, whose Babelfish was included in the search results).

In any case, I have repeated my ‘standard’ test on Bing Translator (same test as I applied to the other online translation tools). Did I expect Bing to come in and blow away the competition?  I thought it might at least come near the top of the pile. It didn’t. The results set out below, with further comments.

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Where next for language translation? A ‘universal translator’ is probably closer than you think …

I recently posted an article on my blog titled ‘Free online translation websites tested – guess who the winner is …‘, where I commented on the recent developments of free online translation tools, together with some ‘test results’ comparing the translations performed by the first ten translation websites identified by Google search for ‘online translation’.

My research for that article showed that, in particular, a couple of websites, including Yahoo Babel Fish, and Google Translate, are introducing powerful tools to aid not just language translation, but also web search. This made me wonder, ‘Where next for language translation?‘.

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Free online translation websites tested – guess who the winner is …

Mashable recently reported on ‘Google Translate Now Talks and Translates in Real-time‘ (16 November 2009). I haven’t used any online translation tools in quite some time (apart from the checking the odd word now and then with LEO.org), but clearly they have developed quite a lot in the last couple of years.

The power of these language translation tools now have made me think, what is the best free translation software currently on the internet?

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Test results for comparison of free online translation tools

Attached below are the findings of my comparison of selected free online translation tools, in order that they are listed in a search for ‘online translation’ in Google. See my original article on this topic, here, which comments also on the results below.

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10 hints and tips for learning a new language (from my experiences learning German)

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I’ve been in Germany now for almost 10 years (the anniversary is a few weeks away yet) and I recently thought that it might be a good time to reflect on what has been successful for me in developing my German language skills (bearing in mind that I had studied German at school in England). I was brought up with English as my native language, and my comments below, on learning a foreign language might be more relevant to English/Anglo-Saxon people, who grow up speaking one of the most commonly spoken languages.

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