Searching across languages? Google translation tools can help

Google has a variety of translation tools easily accessible from its search page.  Most language translation tools are far from perfect, but Google’s is becoming especially sophisticated because of language data gathered from millions of Google searches.

Click on Language Tools to the right of the Google search box, and you’ll find:

Translated search – Google will find results in the languages of your choice and translate them for you to read.  For example, you can search for information about “stem cells” in Chinese. Enter your search terms in English and request that Google search pages written in simplified and/or traditional Chinese.  Your search results and the web pages will be translated to English, and you have the option of seeing the web pages in the original Chinese.

Translate text – Cut and paste or manually key in text in one language and have it translated to another.

Translate a web page – Enter a web page’s URL and translate the page from one language to another.

Translate the Google interface to another language – Set your Google homepage, messages, and buttons to appear in the language of your choice.

Visit Google’s site in another country’s domain – You can access Google’s site in another country and search from that domain.

If you commonly search in more than one language, you may want to add Google’s Toolbar to your browser, which will allow you to translate words and web pages instantly.  Installation is quick and easy, but requires Firefox 2+ or Internet Explorer 6.0+ and Windows XP SP2/Vista+. To download the toolbar, go to the Google search page and pull down the “more” menu in the upper left. From there, select “even more” and find Toolbar under the Search listings.  Once you’ve downloaded the toolbar, you’ll see a Translate feature.

Use caution, however!  For precise, accurate translations, human translation is still the way to go.

If you would like to know more about Google Search, sign up for one of our upcoming classes held in Miner’s Computing Center, Classroom 1:

Friday, May 28, 2010 from 9:00 – 10:30 AM

Friday, June 11, 2010 from 1:00 – 2:30 PM

There is no charge for the class, but registration is required. Click on Classes & Sign-Up under Teaching and Learning on the Miner Library home page. For more information, e-mail Valorie Hallinan or call her at 275-6873.

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