Friday, July 9, 2010

How to translate blogs, websites and documents from one language to another

One of the joys of working in the big global world of the Internet is that you meet people of diferent nationalities and ethnicities. The problem with this is that you may not understand each other's language. To some extent this can be overcome by using online translators for the written word.

Google Translate tranlates English into 57 other languages. There is an option to embed the translator into your blog or website so that visitors can translate your work - have a look at the top right hand corner of this blog to see how it works. You can also embed it into your web browser which allows you to instantly see the translation when you hover your courser over the words.

Another option for translation is Babel Fish, which has all the same options as Google Translate.

How it works
Here is a section of a blog post that Jesus Custodio posted on the 5th July 2010.

El calor era muy fuerte y mi amigo Fernando me había sugerido bajar al puerto para refrescarnos la cara con agua del río. Estaba en Madre Mía, un caserío de Tingo María a orillas del Río Huallaga en la selva de San Martín, era el verano de 1980.

Here is the translation from Google Translate.
The heat was very strong and my friend Fernando had suggested me to cool down the port side of the river water. My mother was in a village of Tingo Maria on the banks of the Rio Huallaga in the jungle of San Martin, was the summer of 1980.

And here is the translation from Babel Fish.
The heat was very strong and my friend Fernando had suggested to lower to me to the port to refresh the face to us with water of the river. She was in Mother Mine, a small village of Tingo Maria to borders of the Huallaga River in the forest of San Martin, was the summer of 1980.

It is really important to remember that online translators are not 100% accurate, especially for translating English into languages such as Japanese. And if you're not careful, your translation may turn out to be offensive to the reader.

Herve Carpentier advises people to write the original text first and then the translation, followed by the name of the translator you used so that people can see you used a machine translator.

Image: 'Parkpop 2009 - The girl in the+crowd'


Anonymous said...

You´re right Sarah, is a good idea to write the original text first and then the translation. Its easy for me from Spanish to English or English to spanish but I would be afraid to use a tranlator to write from spanish to german because I don´t know a word in german.

Sarah Stewart said...

I am afraid I do not speak any language other than English, much to my embarrassment :)