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Babel Fish re-lanches as Yahoo! Babel Fish

     
4:52 pm on Apr 27, 2006 (gmt 0)

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If you don't know Babel Fish (who doesn't), it's a free translion tool for text and web pages for up to 38 language pairs, such as English => Korean, Dutch => French, and Greek => English.

Theres some new features added that are worth mentioning.

Therer are new language pair choices of Simplified Chinese into Traditional Chinese, and Traditional Chinese into Simplified Chinese

In addition, Yahoo! Search Translator (Beta), currently only available in Germany [de.docs.yahoo.com] and in France, [fr.docs.yahoo.com] gives users the ability to translate queries and search for web pages, images, and videos in multiple languages simultaneously.

You can also add the translation tool to your Yahoo toolbar.

[babelfish.yahoo.com...]

Thanks Yahoo!

6:59 pm on Apr 27, 2006 (gmt 0)

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Not all that bad for translating a website. Stilly quirky, but not bad. Now you too can have a multilingual web presence (sort of)!

What's really neat is that you can translate stuff then search with the translated text.

7:13 pm on Apr 27, 2006 (gmt 0)

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this engine gets an insane amount of pageviews by students and from certain websites.
7:17 pm on Apr 27, 2006 (gmt 0)

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So I wonder if the Babelfish bot IP addresses have changed any over the years?
7:20 pm on Apr 27, 2006 (gmt 0)

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I wish the Google Translator would add more pairs - maybe this will put a fire under them...
1:51 am on Apr 28, 2006 (gmt 0)

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Something I've always wondered: is the name licensed or used with permission from Douglas Adams (or his estate)
2:02 pm on Apr 28, 2006 (gmt 0)

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httpwebwitch

I suspect the answer to that question is 42.

3:14 pm on Apr 28, 2006 (gmt 0)

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am I the only one who thinks that having automatic translation is almost as good as having no translation?

Maybe people haven't enough reads some pages these like to see bad translating that is.

5:39 pm on Apr 28, 2006 (gmt 0)

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am I the only one who thinks that having automatic translation is almost as good as having no translation?

I test drove this Babel Fish, and it worked very well. It's not perfect, but it did quite well.

5:48 pm on Apr 28, 2006 (gmt 0)

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I've used Babelfish for "clues" to translation for years, (back since it was part of AltaVista's site).

It works well for one or two word translations --- BUT I would definitely not consider it a trusted source for translation.

The simplest test I can think of is; enter a short block of text; translate it from its native language to some other language, then back to the original language.... this give you an idea of how well it works.

example-

TRANSLATE: "Give a man a fish and you feed him for a day. Teach a man to fish and you feed him for a lifetime."
(from English to French)

RESULT: "Donnez un homme un poisson et vous l'alimentez pendant un jour. Enseignez un homme pcher et vous l'alimentez pour une vie."

TRANSLATE (above French result back to English)

RESULT: "Give to a man a fish and feed it to you during one day. Teach a man to be fished and feed it to you for a life."

...close, but would you want to hinge your international reputation on it?

6:09 pm on Apr 28, 2006 (gmt 0)

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>>>RESULT: "Give to a man a fish and feed it to you during one day. Teach a man to be fished and feed it to you for a life."

I have always thought that some of these Nigerian scammers are using Babel Fish, because of the wacky english.

7:55 pm on Apr 28, 2006 (gmt 0)

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Yahoo! Search Translator is a good idea and Yahoo has always been a step ahead of Google
11:48 pm on Apr 28, 2006 (gmt 0)

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The simplest test I can think of is; enter a short block of text; translate it from its native language to some other language, then back to the original language.... this give you an idea of how well it works.

The tool was not meant to be used in that manner. You might as well test it's ability to help you catch fish. ;)

I can think of a simpler test: Use it the way it's supposed be used.

D a hombre un pescado y usted lo alimenta por un da. Ensee a hombre a pescar y usted lo alimenta para un curso de la vida.

That's a damn decent translation. Better than I can do it. Perfectly understandable (if you know Spanish), but not perfect.

6:29 pm on Apr 29, 2006 (gmt 0)

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> am I the only one who thinks that having automatic translation is almost as good as having no translation?

NO. Online translation sucks. Can't be used to translate copy imo. You can, however, use it for translating non-english language serps and be lucky and find what you might be looking for.

>everybody can have a multilingual webpresence

Sure, if they spend the time and money on a good native translator ;)

8:16 pm on May 1, 2006 (gmt 0)

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I am missing something, wasn't Babelfish an AltaVista service?
8:36 pm on May 1, 2006 (gmt 0)

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Machine translation is sometime ok to understand what has been talked in a particular article,its better than nothing

It was an Altavista service but since Yahoo own Altavista..

2:28 am on May 2, 2006 (gmt 0)

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Babelfish has always been a link on my toolbar, for quickie keyword research in other languages. The weaknesses is grammer and sentence structure don't really impact one- and two-word translations, although I always end-up using a native speaker to nail things down.

I can't believe that Yahoo left this tool to rot for so many years - once again, intense competition stimulates the market. Hopefully we'll see improvements on the backend.

4:55 pm on May 4, 2006 (gmt 0)

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I can't believe that Yahoo left this tool to rot for so many years - once again, intense competition stimulates the market. Hopefully we'll see improvements on the backend.

Actually, the AV-branded Babelfish is still around (babelfish.altavista.com).

9:06 pm on May 4, 2006 (gmt 0)

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if you translate something twice, the margin of error doubles. For example, if the first translation is off by 5 percent, and then you re-translate it, the additional margin of error would be even greater the second time around. In otherwords, no matter how good a translator is, you can't translate it through twice and expect it to be the same as the original.

hope that explains why the translation of the common saying above was so whacky after translating from english to french and then back to english.

babelfish also provides human translators who are certified and very accurate at what they do. alternatively, going to a decent university, you should be able to find a bilingual person for a lot cheaper.

9:40 pm on May 11, 2006 (gmt 0)

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Do they offer an API for this yet? In fact does anyone offer an API for automated translation (at reasonable cost?). You'd think if they do free translations on the site, they'd let you tie in for a few pennies per 100 words. All the translation sites out there want far too much or try to ram their professional translation down your neck.