Altavista babelfish is an online translator available on the web through the Yahoo website. It can be used to translate several languages including the translation of English to several other language.This article looks at the pros and cons of babelfish.
Alta vista babelfish can be found at Babelfish.yahoo.com and at some other websites. It is named after the babelfish that was an instant language translator in Douglas Adam’s book, The Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy.
Babel was an ancient city where many languages were supposed to have been spoken and the fish takes its name from this.
Today’s online babelfish provides free web translation for blocks up text up to 150 words or webpages. It is extremely easy to use and is quick to give a translation. The technology is supported by Systran and makes it a fast and efficient programme to work with giving you a free translation service online. Languages There is a wide choice of languages available. Languages include English to French, German, Korean, Greek, German, Italian, Japanese and Portugese. You can also translate from these languages back into English. Other translations are available which also include Russian, Dutch, Swedish and Spanish. Other functions
Babelfish produces a widget that you can add to your own website so that users can instantly translate text. It also has other functions such as enabling you to search the web for translated text and allowing you to compare an original website with its translated counter part.
The problem with using an online translator is that it translates literally. There are differences between languages such as word order and the use of tense. It can give you a literal translation back into English that you will have to work out for yourself. The words are translated but in a strange grammatical order.
Another point is that there is no phonetic help and therefore, if you are looking up text because you want to speak it, you will not find any help with pronunciation.
Take for example, the Japanese translation, you will be shown symbols but not how to say them which can be annoying if you want to use speech in a hurry.
The translator is also limited in its range of languages. Although there is a good mix, it is not comprehensive and some of the translation is limited.