GreenLance Communications: News • Media • Reviews

Monday, May 19, 2008

How I 翻译 the 漢語

Babel FishI spent spent thirteen-odd years in China. I'm ashamed to admit, though, that four-year-old children read and write Chinese better than I do.

Still, I have an advantage: I know how to fake it. Babel Fish lets me double-check my college French and my bad Chinese before humiliating myself in public. For good measure, it also translates Dutch, German, Greek, Italian, Japanese, Korean, Portuguese, Russian and Spanish.

¡Woo hoo!

What tools do you use to communicate with non-English speakers?


  1. Babelfish has been a big help to me, too. Earlier this year, when my daughter and I traveled to Spain and Morocco, I was amazed at how few hostels in Madrid were able to correspond in English. (I thought perhaps they were just being obstinate - but once we got there, I found that the staff really couldn't communicate in basic English. I would have thought that a business that caters to international travellers would have required some English ability...oh, well). The responses I got seemed to fit my questions - or at least, Bebelfish's translations of them did....

    I also made use of Babelfish's French translation in corresponding with Moroccan hotels, though most of them were able to handle basic English reasonably well.

    Before entrusting my travel plans to a translation engine, I did run some tests using German (in whcih I am relatively fluent). Once I was satisfied that the results were acceptable, I went ahead and entrusted it with my Spanish and French correspondence.

  2. Somehow i missed the point. Probably lost in translation :) Anyway ... nice blog to visit.