Translation Tools?
November 9, 2005 8:29 AM   Subscribe

I'm looking for a free tool that will automatically translate a webpage. Not like AltaVista's babelfish; more something to click on.
posted by madmath to Technology (6 answers total)
Sure. I've seen some sites (can't find now) that have a tool at the top of the page that says- click here to translate into Spanish, Arabic, German, or whatever. I'm looking for an example.
posted by madmath at 8:36 AM on November 9, 2005

Possibly like the "en espanol" link on this page:
Did they manually translate that page, or is it a tool?
posted by madmath at 8:38 AM on November 9, 2005

That's a manual translation. It's not translating it automatically on the fly.

I think you're looking for something like the AltaVista Babelfish translate box. Scroll to the bottom, and there's a bit of code that you can include on your site. It's free.
posted by chrismear at 8:43 AM on November 9, 2005

I'd wager dimes to dollars that they manually created those pages. All the multilingual pages that I've been associated with have required someone to manually translate the page.
posted by unixrat at 8:44 AM on November 9, 2005

Disclaimer - I don't speak Spanish. But NO self-respecting organisation would have a machine-translated website. I am 98% certain that this library paid someone to translate their site and then put the two sites up in parallel.

Really, babelfish/google translate represent the best of general machine translation these days (though more is being done with standardised technical documents). And they are not used by respectable organisations to translate their websites.

I am a professional translator.
posted by altolinguistic at 8:45 AM on November 9, 2005

My Spanish is very basic but that library page doesn't look like it's come out of babelfish.

I second altolinguistic's comment. Machine translation is cool for getting the gist of an article or page written in a language you don't know, but it's not meant to do much more than that. It's ok if you want to add it to a weblog or a personal site or just something done for fun, but if it's something professional or commercial, then it's not such a great idea.

Anyway, to add a "translate this" link on your site, either use the Babelfish link chrismear posted above, or for google, simply adapt this link:

The first "en" refers to the source language of the page, if your site is in English; the "fr" is for translating it in French. Just replace that "fr" with the code for each other language you want to add - you can get more Google Language tools page.

(Also see this template, and another explanation and templates here).
posted by funambulist at 10:20 AM on November 9, 2005

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