Have you ever tried Google translate? The translations are typically terrible, and often amusing. They can give you a general idea about what someone is trying to say, but if you need a professional translation – say for a bi-lingual marketing newsletter, it simply won’t work. The best option is to hire a professional translator but that can be expensive – and many of us wouldn’t even know where to look.
The service Tolingo (To Lingo) aims to help people translate documents into a long list of possible languages: Bosnian, Bulgarian, Chinese – not every language on the planet but quite comprehensive nonetheless. Users simply upload the text of any document and the site’s online cost calculator determines the best price available and the amount of time for a given translation with expedited services available for a higher fee.
Generally, Tolingo is for business-related documents. If you want your novel translated into another language, this is not the service, as Tolingo lists non-fiction topics as their areas of specialty. For that purpose, Tolingo offers good-quality translation services. Prices are a bit steep. For instance, to translate this brief review into French costs around 25 euros, so if you’re looking at translating an extensive document, it can be costly. But if you require accurate translation services in a reasonably short amount of time, Tolingo is a great starting point.
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May 5, 2009
Quote: Have you ever tried Google translate? The translations are typically terrible, and often amusing. They can give you a general idea about what someone is trying to say, but if you need a professional translation – say for a bi-lingual marketing newsletter, it simply won’t work.
Often, automated translations are not good because the source text is not optimised for automated translation. Automated translation can give good results. For a small evaluation of the quality of automated translation, see ‘Evaluation of international English and machine translation’ (http://www.international-english.co.uk/mt-evaluation-details.html).
August 23, 2010
Mike Unwalla is correct. Online machine translation can be very dangerous.