Thursday, August 2, 2012
Google Chrome and Google Translate: How language stops being a barrier
I admit that this is another trivial post. However, I couldn’t help but blog about this as I found it to be fascinating.
I’m an expat living in a country where the national language is not the English I speak. Although almost everyone speaks English here, there are occasions where I find some of the websites (especially government websites) written in the national language. Having said that, I only visit government websites when my income tax is due or when I’m in some sort of trouble. However, I do use the local version of Yahoo.com as my home page as it keeps me up-to-date on all the latest news foreign and domestic. Up until now I managed to ignore the news articles written in the local language as “not relevant” (I admit that I was naive) but today there was an article about the new iPhone 5 which, as a techi, I just had to read. Being a Mozilla Firefox (FF) user, the only option I had was to copy the text and paste it in Google translate. This is when I decided that it’s time to change the way I browse the net.
I was not a big fan of Google chrome (https://www.google.com/chrome/) when it first came out. It didn’t give me the reassurance I needed and didn’t seem to be that fast (contrary to their claims). But I decided to give it another go just to see whether it can translate web pages for me on the fly. And translate it did!
Once I setup all of my preferences such as the home page and imported all my stuff from FF, Chrome seemed to become an elegant piece of software which actually behaves the way I tell it to (contrary to the initial releases). Then I clicked on the article about the iPhone 5 which was not in English. To my delight, Chrome automatically picked up the language the article was written in and translated it to the English I understand. Amazing!
Original article (source: http://my.entertainment.yahoo.com/news/iphone-5-bakal-dipasarkan-september-ini-092010850.html)
Now I can go on reading articles written in languages other than English as Google Translate supports quite a few languages. Well, the skeptic might say that the translation in not 100% accurate; but it is good enough for me as I only glance through articles absorbing the useful bits. As such the sophistication of the language is not a big consideration.
If you too are longing to read those foreign articles in the language you understand, then give the new Chrome a go. I guarantee that it will put a smile on your face!