18 January 2014

Google Translate

I am unable to count the number of times over the past almost 8 weeks that I have used Google translate to help me in a one-on-one conversation. It is amazing! The translation from English to Vietnamese is very good, though I can tell you that the Vietnamese-English translation is less so. It is still light years better than the alternatives:
1) Talk only with English-speakers
2) Speak to others in their native language (see #1)
3) Hire a translator to follow me around
4) Become fluent in many, many languages

Yesterday I registered for an international motorcycle event that will take place this August in British Columbia, Canada:  HU Travellers Meeting Canwest 2014. I also reserved a great sleeping arrangement (a Medium Tent, though the Bus is tempting) at the nearby Riders' Retreat

As I was looking at the Horizons Unlimited webpage for the event, I noticed a drop-down button that says "Select Language". Tapping on the button, I got a Google Translate list of just about every language I've ever heard of (though Aramaic is missing, Latin is an option). When I tapped on "Vietnamese", I got a webpage that my Vietnamese-speaking friends easily read.


A similar button is now at the top-left of this page. Go to Google Translate Tool for a similar bar for your web sites. It will be on mine in a few days.

My apologies for my earlier English-exclusivity.

1 comment:

  1. Great post, John. I used to work for a company that did over-the-phone language interpretation (at the time, it was owned by AT&T). While machine translation still has a long way to go to replace people interpreters, I must admit that for the quick and dirty, Google Translate is pretty amazing.

    Oh, and I'll see you at HU Canwest!