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Google Translate now understands 41 languages


Google’s translation engine that is used daily by millions has now been updated to support 41 languages, which comprise 1640 language pairs in Google's translation matrix. Google claims it can now translate text for 98% of the world's Internet users. What do you want to translate today?

Turkish, Thai, Hungarian, Estonian, Albanian, Maltese and Galician have joined the already comprehensive mix of supported languages in Google Translate. While Internet-based translation services have been available for some, most notably Babelfish, which originated from Digital Equipment’s (acquired by Compaq, which was purchased by Hewlett-Packard) Altavista team and is now part of Yahoo, Google Translate supports more languages than any other translation engine on the web.

The quality of these services remains impressive, at least if you intend to just understand the meaning of what has been printed in another language and do not intend to use to reprint it in its translated version. Google said that “there's always room for improvement, and [they]'re working hard to improve translation quality. [Their] statistical models are built from vast quantities of monolingual and translated texts using automated machine learning techniques.”

In taking Google's translate utility out for a little spin around the world, I discovered that the phrase "Good morning, how are you?" when translated from English to Spanish to French to Russian to German and back to English yielded the phrase: "Hello, how are you?" At some point it lost the connotation of "Good morning," but is more than sufficient for communication, especially across so many diverse languages. When taking the same phrase from English to Chinese Traditional to Japanese and back to English, we got this: "Morning, what better way?". You know what, I like that. I may start using that phrase. Thank you, Google Translate.

You can access Google Translate here.

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10:49 PM

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