Free Online Translations

Category: Reference

I have a site that attracts visitors from all over the world, so I often get emails in Spanish, French, and German language. Sometimes even Russian and Japanese! Is there a tool that will help me translate to English? I also want to write back in their own language, so I'd need to translate from English to Spanish, and other languages.

automatic language translations

Free Automatic Language Translators

When you make information available online, you find out that the Internet is truly a global resource. I can identify with your situation, and since I speak only English and a bit of French, I've had to find ways of communicating in Spanish and other languages. Fortunately, there are some excellent free online translations tools available.

Babelfish is the oldest and best-known online translation tool, created by the folks at Digital Equipment, and housed on the AltaVista search engine server. The term Babel fish began as a fictional species in Douglas Adams "Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy." It could instantly translate from one language to another. Babelfish (the web version) can translate words, paragraphs or entire web pages. The Babelfish translator can also be added to your toolbar or Website for easy access. Here are the languages supported by Babelfish:

  • English to Chinese
  • English to Dutch
  • English to French
  • English to German
  • English to Greek
  • English to Italian
  • English to Japanese
  • English to Korean
  • English to Portuguese
  • English to Russian
  • English to Spanish
  • Dutch to English
  • Dutch to French
  • French to English
  • French to German
  • French to Greek
  • French to Italian
  • French to Portuguese
  • French to Dutch
  • French to Spanish
  • German to English
  • German to French
  • Greek to English
  • Greek to French
  • Italian to English
  • Italian to French
  • Japanese to English
  • Korean to English
  • Portuguese to English
  • Portuguese to French
  • Russian to English
  • Spanish to English
  • Spanish to French
  • Chinese to English

Just remember that with computer aided translation, you can't be assured of a perfect result. Foreign languages often have a different syntax than English. So don't be surprised if words end up in the wrong order, if sentences read poorly, and in some cases don't make sense in context. And if you're not fluent in the other language, you may have no clue. To get an idea of how well a machine translation works, translate your text into the target language, and then back into English.

SDL has a similar service on a smaller scale. You can use it for those instructions that come with toys and electronics that may not be in English. They also offer translation for online businesses for a small fee and Click2Translate for larger projects available at fees starting at $30.00. They offer real humans for translation as well.

Try Microsoft's Beta Translator online, or add it to your tool bar, if you have Windows Live, for translating up to 500 words of text.

Not to be outdone, Google Translate also offers a similar service. This is the only one that handles Arabic language, as far as I know.

Foreignword is a great tool for the task. With over 265 dictionaries and 73 languages from which to choose, their Anadu is a free download. They also offer tips and articles concerning language itself.

im Translator is another free service. This one has the advantage of including a spell check before changing languages and the unique feature of a decode button for unreadable Russian text. This can be a handy thing if you want to catch the latest edition of Pravda.

WorldLingo is an alternative language tool. Aside from their free translation of up to 150 words, they offer paid services for such applications as Website placement, e-mail and chat translation, as well as a currency counter. This includes animation, voiceover, TV captions, and subtitles.

Finally, if you are confused with what language a Webpage contains, try this Translation Guide.

Oh, and speaking of fun and translation, try the Crapola Web Translator. It will translate your own text, or an entire web page, into Yoda, Bostonese, Canadian, Ebonics, Hax0r, Valley Girl, Martian, Pig Latin, or Smurfish. Another site in this genre is The Dialectizer, which will convert your text into Redneck, Jive, Cockney, Elmer Fudd, Swedish Chef (my favorite!) and others.

Robotic language translators are far from perfect. Still, in cases where you have no other way to communicate in a language that's not your own, automatic translations can be a big help.

 
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Most recent comments on "Free Online Translations"

Posted by:

George
13 Dec 2007

Wonder if you are aware of any site that will translate Tagalog (Philippines) to English? I have searched many times and places, but no joy.

EDITOR'S NOTE: Try this: http://www.stars21.com/translator/english_to_filipino.html


Posted by:

howiem
13 May 2009

Longdo is an outstanding multiple language translation site http://dict.longdo.com/. Extremely fast and quite accurate for word translatuons


Posted by:

Glenn P.
13 Jun 2009

Anyone know of any sites that will translate English to (and from) Latin, perchance...???


Posted by:

lhuvie
14 Jan 2010

thanks george,im able to translate my report well..


Posted by:

Steven Kong
12 Sep 2010

Anyone know of any sites that will translate English to Chinese


Posted by:

Kate
12 Jan 2011

My favourite online translator is http://www.live-translator.net/
You can use the free online translator or contact a live human translator to translate your text.


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