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Google Language Tools

Language Translation Tool


Tiny
Published 03/22/2012 and rated Ratingstars4 4 out of 5 stars
by Robyn Valenzuela
What can you use the app for?

Google Language Tools or Google Translate is an application that will let its users translate between different languages. Users can simply type in their text in any language and then hit the translate button. They will be provided a translation and can even view alternative versions for their review. In addition, Google Language Tools offers a way for users to translate entire web sites as well. They simply need to enter in the URL of the website, select the website and then they are provided the translated version of their site. Incredibly, The website and the layout remains completely the same and the text is translated into the language that the user requested.

As of 2012, Google Language Tools offered translation services between 149 different languages from Africaans to Zulu. In addition, Google Language Tools offers its users the ability to set their language preference and have the Translate capability added to their Google Toolbar. This makes searching the Internet much more accessible to those who speak languages other than English.

Google Language Tools screenshot
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What is the history and popularity of the app?

Google Language Tools launched on April 28, 2006, for the Arabic language. Prior to 2007, for most of their language translation services Google used a SYSTRAN-based translator, similar to the ones used by AOL, Yahoo and Babel Fish.
In 2011, Google announced that their Google Translate API would no longer be available since it had been compromised by "the substantial economic burden caused by extensive abuse." Google received a lot of criticism for shutting this API down, and some questioned the viability of many of the other services that Google promoted as a result. Subsequently, on June 3, 2011 Google responded that they would not cancel their API service due to public scrutiny. They also stated that they would be launching a paid version of the Translate API soon.

What are the differences to other apps?

The majority of the other translation applications based their systems on SYSTRAN software; this included the likes of Babel Fish and AOL and Yahoo. As stated, Google went a completely different direction and decided to develop their own software version of a translator. Google Language Tools offers translation services between more languages than any other free translation software available. It's website translation services are also an excellent offering unmatched across the net. Users could also translate among languages without having to interface with English, which also makes it a unique and functional offering.

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How does the web app look and feel to use?

Google Language Tools has a similar motif to many of the other Google software-as-a-service solutions. It's clean, simple and functional. Users can operate the application without having to familiarize themselves with a how-to-manual or any help guides. It really is that easy to use. There are options to translate a block of text by pasting it into a text box, or translating a whole website by pasting in the URL of the site and clicking the button.

When translating a whole website any link that is clicked from that website will also be automatically translated which is very intuitive and user-friendly. There is also a web search function which will automatically translate your search term into another language and then search the internet for that term. This will give you the option to automatically translate all of the returned sites into your own language if you wish.

How does the registration process work?

Google Language Tools can be used without having to register. There is no login requirement. Users do not even need a Gmail account to access this Google offering.

What does it cost to use the application?

Google Language Tools is a free application offered by Google. There are no annoying advertisements. Google did announce that they were planning to offer a paid version of the application, but to date this has not been launched. As of March 2012, Google Language Tools can be used by anyone, for free.

Who would you recommend the application to?

As a free service, Google Language Tools is fantastic. While it may not catch some of the nuances in any language and may offer some inaccurate translations, overall it is a very solid product that is extraordinarily accessible to anyone around the world. The website should be used for informational purposes only and isn't advanced enough to be relied upon for professional or educational purposes.

  • Find out how to say something in many different languages
  • Figure out what something means in your native language
  • Translate a website by typing in the URL and output language
  • View alternate translations
  • Quick and fairly accurate translations


Google Language Tools video

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