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Translation

As the web has spread across the world, more and more web pages are available in languages other than English. Google provides a translation link and language tools to enable you to read pages written in unfamiliar languages.

Google translates pages by computer. Machine translation is difficult to do well and tends not to be as clear as human translation. But it can give you the gist of what’s written or suggestions for translating something into another language.

Your results may include a “Translate this page” link when a results page is written in a language different from your interface language (as specified by your Google Preferences, which we describe soon). Your interface language is the language in which Google displays messages and labels, buttons, and tips on Google’s home page and results page. You can translate pages written in English, French, German, Italian, Portuguese, and Spanish into another language from that set.

Results include a "Translate this page" link when Google finds a page in a language different from your language of choice.

Google’s Language Tools overcome language barriers. Click on the Language Tools link to the right of the search box on Google’s home page,

The Language Tools link on Google's home page

or visit www.google.com/language_tools, or select the Language Tools menu option in the Google Toolbar to:

  • Search for pages written in specific languages
    With the Language Tool, you can search for pages written in a specific language or in a specific country.
  • Search for pages located in specific countries
  • Use the Google interface in another language

    That is, set Google’s home page, messages and labels, and buttons to display in a specific language

  • Visit Google’s site in a specific country.

    For example, visit www.google.de in Germany

    With the Language Tool, you can Google's site in a specific country.

  • Translate any text or web page from a limited set of languages including English, French, German, Italian, Portuguese, or Spanish into another language in that set.

If you want to translate some text or a page into a language other than those Google Language Translation Tool offers, check out Fagan Finder’s Translation Wizard.

If you’re interested in translating Google Guide, please use our contact form and also review Erik Hoy’s advice for Google Guide translators. The Danish Google Guide, bibliotek.kk.dk/soeg_bestil_forny/googleguide, is available through the Copenhagen Central Library’s website. You can find a Hebrew version of Google Guide at www.googleguide.co.il/.

Exercises

These problems give you practice with translating words, pages, and results, and with finding pages in specific countries. For hints and answers to selected problems, see the Solutions page.

  1. Find out about municipal swimming pools that you can use when visiting Naples. Hint: Find the Italian words for “municipal swimming pools Naples” and then search for them on pages in Italy. You can use your browser’s Copy and Paste features to transfer the Italian words from one screen to another.
  2. Find the name of the mayor of Montpellier, France, by searching the city website montpellier.fr. It may help to know the French word for “mayor.”
  3. Translate “I wish to mail a package. Where is the nearest post office? Thank you.” into Spanish.
  4. Find listings or photos of old books at the national library of Spain. Hint: Translate the two unrelated phrases “old books” and “national library Spain” separately; otherwise, the translation software may try to make them into a sentence (and add “noise” words).
  5. Restrict your search to France and search for pages in English on the war in Iraq.

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This page was last modified on: Tuesday March 13, 2007

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For Google tips, tricks, & how Google works, visit Google Guide at www.GoogleGuide.com. Google Guide is neither affiliated with nor endorsed by Google.

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By Nancy Blachman and Jerry Peek who aren't Google employees. For permission to copy & create derivative works, visit Google Guide's Creative Commons License webpage.

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