Several translation software and search engine companies produce free automated
language translation services. An extension of Machine Translation (MT) applications, this new breed of web-based translation services and tools promise impressive
results. In my previous article,
Google's Language Translation Web Services Ready for Prime Time?, " I used Google's Language Translation services
as the test subject for an examination of how well web-based translation services and tools deliver on those impressive
results they promise. In the process, I learned about some of its many features,
including document translation, translated search, and the Google Translator
Toolkit. In this article, I get into the web site translator widget, the Word Translator
tool, 1-click translations, and my personal favorite, more.
The Tools and Resources Page
The last page of the Google Translate site is the Tools and Resources page. It contains some widgets and shortcuts to instant, automated translation of web pages.
Web site Translator
One way to grant your visitors access to Google's translation services is to include the Google translator widget in your page. It's a compact dropdown list with a text plug for Google under it. To add it to your web page, simply copy and paste a code snippet into your document source where you want the widget to be displayed. Strong points include a customizable language list and script code that is a mere seven lines long! Here is a screen shot of the widget:
Figure 1: Google Translate Widget
The Word Translator is a feature of the Google Toolbar. It's a feature that displays translations of a single word in the tooltip (a small hover box that appears with information about an item). You just pause the mouse pointer over a word, and the Word Translator displays the word in the language of your choice:
Here's how to enable it. On the
Options dialog, there is a checkbox to activate
the Word Translator:
Clicking on the
Translator Settings... button brings up the
Settings dialog, where you can select which language you'd like text translated
And that's all there is to it. You can now receive translations for any word
Get 1-click Translations
Google's translation services allow you to get translations with a single click via a regular link. You can also translate part of a page by selecting the text before clicking the link. I found it especially useful to add it as a button on the Links toolbar in Internet Explorer.
At the bottom of the Tools and Resources page are
a number of language links. Right-click on a link and select
Add to Favorites
from the popup menu to add it to your
To move the link to the Links toolbar in IE:
- Right-click anywhere in an empty toolbar (the right of the Help menu is a good spot), if the Links toolbar is not already visible.
- Select the
Linksitem from the popup menu:
- When the Links toolbar is available, open the Favorites menu and drag the
Languagelink to the Links toolbar. That will place it as a button on the toolbar. Now you can translate the page with a click of the mouse!
The procedure may differ for other browsers.