Google Translate even more impressive than previously thought

Wednesday, August 04, 2010

Take a look at this:

It's the first few sentences of a talk on (this one, and highly recommended). You'll notice that it has detected the language as Spanish, but Spanish is actually just one of three languages in the box on the left. I began by writing out the first two sentences in Estonian, then German, and finally Spanish. I discovered this yesterday as I was curious how the automatic detection would work if there were equal amounts of two languages in the box, and instead of confusing the two it expertly managed to recognize and translate each one separately.

One example of possible use: a student knows a certain amount of Language A (Spanish for example), but is now obliged to learn the related Language B (Portuguese). Instead of diving straight into basic Portuguese, find a text translated into both languages, and type them both out in order to make the connection between the Spanish the student already knows, and the similar but as yet not recognizable at first sight Portuguese. And also learn something new at the same time if the text chosen happens to be interesting.

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