Thursday, September 29, 2005

traduzione sul web

We've all heard of online dictionaries and thesaurus (such as, but one day as I couldn't find my italian to english dictionary I discovered a new website. It's not an online italian to english dictionary, but it is an online translation site. The site not only translates english to italian or vice versa, but also does other languages like spanish, french, german, dutch, portuguese, russian, norweigan, and bit of chinese.

There are two types of translation: a free translation or a human translation. The free translation is at it says, its a free translation that is pretty quick, but of course is not so accurate as it translates words immediately. The human translation costs about $39.95 and it would take a while as a professional translator would actually do the translation work for you (of course, that would be crazy for a student to do! Not just the cost (I think its in American dollars) but also it doesn't really help you learn much). I decided to check out the accuracy of the free translation after I found the site so I typed in something random:

I would like to go to the party this evening and this is what I got: Amerei per andare al partito questa sera

In translating it by myself (its a prettty basic sentence), I got Voglio andare alla festa questa sera. Since the translation is only a basic translation it translates word for word, including "to go". Usually in italian a normal verb conjugation already has the 'to' in it, but the translator wouldn't know that.

Recently I've also seen that the website ( has added a web translator which basically translates web sites for people, and its also free.

I only used the site for basic help when I couldn't find my dictionary or when I found that I couldn't understand the sentence no matter how hard I tried, but I think there are some ethical issues with the website for students, especially those who have to translate for their classes. And the one warning I give anyone who tries to use it, it is not accurate and you will not get a good grade if you don't do any work yourself. On the other hand it is quite helpful in a situation where you really don't understand too well, it's helpful as a last resort or as a minimal helper.


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