Friday, May 16, 2008

Taquitos for everyone! Google Translate now supports the Finnish language

If you read my blogs over the last few years, you know that I've been dying to find a good Finnish-English free online translator. See my February 18, 2006 Ontario Empoblog post on the topic. Here's an excerpt:

If I can find a [good] Finnish to English translation engine I'll try to use it....

I found a translation engine, but it only got half the words.

An anonymous commenter noted the difficulty involved:

It will take many many years still and a huge amount of work to create a perfect Finnish-English machine translator. Finnish presents a huge challenge for that, because it's a complicated, inflecting language (whereas English is isolating). And when such a translator will be created, it probably won't be available for free.

While I appreciate Anonymous' commenters, it turned out that he/she was wrong in his/her last statement. I was pleased to see that Robert Scoble shared an interesting item from Google.

We've recently added translation capabilities for 10 new languages to Google Translate, bringing the total to 23 languages. The newly featured languages include Bulgarian, Croatian, Czech, Danish, Finnish, Hindi, Norwegian, Polish, Romanian and Swedish.

But does it work?

The best way to test a translator is one that a bunch of us "Silliness and Nonsense" people used to employ several years ago - write something in English, translate it to another language, and then translate it back into English and see the results.

Paras tapa testata kääntäjä on yksi, että joukko meistä "Silliness ja Nonsense" ihmiset käyttää työllistävät useita vuosia sitten - kirjoittamaan jotain Englanti, käännä se toiselle kielelle, ja sen jälkeen kääntää se takaisin Englanti ja nähdä tuloksia.

The best way to test the translator is one of a number of us "Silliness and Nonsense" people used to employ a number of years ago - to write something about English, translate it to a different language, and then translate it back to England and see the results.

For an online translator, that's not too bad.

I'd like to know what Finland for Thought thinks about this.

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