Translating documents used to be an incredible inconvenience; say for example a document was sent to you in German then, in the past, one would invariably have to find someone who speaks German and English to do the translation.
With the advent of the Internet a few free Online translators became available however their translation was invariably flawed.
A few days ago I received an email in a foreign language which required translation (i.e. it wasn’t spam). I first went to Google Translate which mostly did a good job of translating to English however there were a few sentences which didn’t seem to translate all that well. I then went to Yahoo Babel Fish and was very pleasantly surprised with the translation results.
It is really impressive how much better the free Online translators are than a few years back. I highly recommend both Google translate and Yahoo Babel Fish.
As example of the translation capabilities of both the Online translators here is some French text from the French Embassy in Australia:
UBIFRANCE, l’Agence française pour le développement international des entreprises, est désormais dotée de son propre réseau de collaborateurs multiculturels dans le monde dédiés à l’accompagnement des entreprises et en particulier des PME sur les marchés étrangers. Les Missions économiques-UBIFRANCE sont aujourd’hui présentes dans 28 pays. Fin 2010, les Missions économiques-UBIFRANCE seront présentes dans 44 pays et formeront le réseau mondial d’UBIFRANCE.
La Mission économique – UBIFRANCE en Australie, partie intégrante de la mission diplomatique française, est chargée de l’accompagnement des entreprises françaises sur le marché australien.
Yahoo Babel Fish translates the above French text to the following:
UBIFRANCE, the French Agency for the international expansion of the companies, from now on are equipped with its own network of multicultural collaborators in the world dedicated to the accompaniment of the companies and in particular of SME on the overseas markets. The economic-UBIFRANCE Missions are present today in 28 countries. At the end of 2010, the economic-UBIFRANCE Missions will be present in 44 countries and will form the world network of UBIFRANCE. The Economic mission – UBIFRANCE in Australia, integral part of the French diplomatic mission, is in charge of the accompaniment of the French companies on the Australian market.
Google Translate returns the following English text as a translation of the French:
UBIFRANCE, the French Agency for international business development, now has its own network of collaborators in the multicultural world dedicated to supporting businesses and especially SMEs in foreign markets. The Missions-UBIFRANCE are now present in 28 countries. Late 2010, the Missions-UBIFRANCE will be present in 44 countries and form the global network of UBIFRANCE.
Economic Mission – UBIFRANCE Australia, part of the French diplomatic mission is responsible for the support of French companies on the Australian market.
As can be seen, the translation isn’t perfect however it is certainly far better than a few years ago!