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16 January 2011

Using Google Translate

I've been thinking about ways a computer can help a non-English speaking student at our school to express herself and understand others in class.  One of the obvious tools is Google Translate, but I didn't know how many ways it can be used until I started exploring it:

I knew about the Google Translate web page, where you can paste a text and see it translated into another. (Always remembering that  the translation is perhaps not 100%, and that some languages are translating better than others...)

I didn't know that now you can listen the translation being "read" to you. I read this post at MakeUseOf.com, which suggests exploring the "beatbox" or "listen" function by pasting in this text and translating it from German to German, then clicking on the "beatbox" button.
makeuseof.com

Sometimes this Beatbox or Listen button appears for more ordinary translations, and sometimes it doesn't.
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By enabling a feature in your Gmail, Google Translate will offer to translate text for you, within your email window. Read Here’s how for enabling translation, and then go to the Labs page of your Gmail settings and enable the Message translation feature.  Here's how it will look in your email:


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On the Communicate page, you can read more: "While in Gmail, you can also have a multilingual chat with your pen-pal from overseas. Add the Google Translate Chat Bot to your conversation and break down the language barrier."


Invite de2en@bot.talk.google.com  and en2de@bot.talk.google.com  to your friends list in Google Talk to translate to and from German. " If you're using the Google Talk Gadget, you can also get your conversation translated by inviting a bot to a group chat with a friend."

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This page describes many more ways you can use the Google Translate function, one of which is using Google Translate in Google Docs to translate entire documents.

You can also search across languages.

You can use the Google search bar to translate text.  Paste Translate this math problem is too hard to German into the bar, and you'll see
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Google Toolbar is an add-on for IE and Firefox, which will translate web pages for you. Chrome automatically detects languages, and offers to translate those other than the language you specified in your browser settings.

How does it work?

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If you get tired of doing really useful translations, watch this video:

Google - Translate for Animals from Superglue on Vimeo.
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