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diy translations

Machine Translations

In certain situations, you can save a lot of time and money by using online automated translation services or machine translation software.

One of the best-known online translation systems is offered by Google Language Tools. You can use this tool to translate a short piece of text by posting it in the "Translate Text" window, or translate whole pages by indicating their URLs in the address window below.

A similar service can be found at

And, of course, if you search the Internet, you can find many more similar tools. All of them share certain common advantages and disadvantages. Advantages include nearly instant speed and zero costs. The single greatest disadvantage (which is sometimes critical) is the low accuracy of such tools.

The thing is, many words in any language have multiple meanings. For example, the English word table can mean, among other things, a piece of furniture you use to have your dinner. But it can also mean a piece of paper with some data arranged in row and columns. In English, those things happen to share the same name, but in most other languages, it is not so. And that's exactly the problem. You can stuff a computer program with all words and their definitions found in a number of languages, but it is impossible to create an artificial intelligence smart enough to always pick the correct meaning of a word.

Therefore, machine translation systems become completely useless when a great accuracy of translation is needed, e.g. if you are translating a contract or a different type of a legal document etc. But if you only want to get a general idea of the content of some news article etc., such systems can come handy.


Last updated on October 27, 2008
© 2002–2008 Valeri Sivokon (