Friday, December 11, 2009

This Ex-English Teacher Loves Google Translate

Ahsan, my colleague, asked me how to pronounce a certain name. I won't list that name, but I want to show you how much fun is to learn to pronounce words and labels in so many languages. It may not always be right or the choice that you would make, but it's pretty close to being accurate.

Example, try entering with English to English:

DIDx - It pronounced it "did."
DIDxchange - It pronounced it almost perfectly.
Lombard - Wow! Perfect.
supercalifragilisticexpialidocious - Not bad!!!
antidisestablimentarianism - I found my new English teacher.
Cayona - Perfect! (Steve Cayona is happy!)

Google Translate does a decent job at translating from one language to another from among dozens. It also pronounces words for you. You can also "contribute a translation" which I did the other day with the word "baytaar" which means "wireless" in Hindi and Urdu. Am I right on that?

Google doesn't list Urdu yet, but it does list Hindi.

The other day I saw where someone was asking for a program that will teach English in 30 days. My answer?
1. Make friends with people who speak the language you want to learn. Make it reciprocal where they get something from you also.
2. Watch videos and listen to audio files in the language like on Youtube, Geekspeak, FreshAir, or DIDX telephony-related podcasts.
3. Use online tools like Google Translate.

It's a small world. It's a big world. We're all in this together. My latest personal/professional project: I am gathering information about IP communications-related companies who participate in helping any nonprofit organizations without financial compensation. Contact me on Twitter or Facebook.

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