Some days ago, fined Ricardo He sent us the following question through our contact form:
I am looking for a chat with simultaneous translation so that two users who speak two different languages, can chat more comfortably, without more gadgets than to write in their language, and whoever receives it, can read it in theirs instantly, does it exist? Is there a special page or other way to achieve it?
In fact there is a very simple and free way with Google Talk, which has multiple bots to translate. Setting it up takes no more than a minute, and it works quite well. There are also other payment options that we have not tried, and another with an interesting aspect that is in closed beta…. we will save these options for another time.
To start using simultaneous translation in Google Talk, we have to add the bot that interests us to our contacts, and invite them to participate in chats. The names of the bots are from the following list, followed by “@ bot.talk.google.com”:
‘Sgroogled.com’: When MICROSOFT Launched ANTI-GOOGLE Ads
Arabic – English: ar2en / en2ar
Bulgarian – English: bg2en / en2bg
Czech – English: cs2en / en2cs
Danish – English: da2en / en2da
German – English: de2en / en2de
German – French: de2fr / fr2de
Greek – English: el2en / en2el
Spanish – English: es2en / en2es
Finnish – English: fi2en / en2fi
French – English: fr2en / en2fr
Hindi – English: hi2en / en2hi
Croatian – English: hr2en / en2hr
Italian – English: it2en / en2it
Japanese – English: ja2en / en2ja
Korean – English: ko2en / en2ko
Dutch – English: nl2en / en2nl
Norwegian – English: no2en / en2no
Polish – English: pl2en / en2pl
Portuguese – English: pt2en / en2pt
Romanian – English: ro2en / en2ro
Russian – English: ru2en / en2ru
Swedish – English: sv2en / en2sv
Chinese – English: zh2en / en2zh
Traditional Chinese – English: zh-hant2en / en2zh-hant
Traditional Chinese – Chinese: zh-hant2zh / zh2zh-hant
For example, if we want to speak with an English, we only have to add to our contacts the bots “firstname.lastname@example.org” and “email@example.com”, and invite both bots to Google Talk, in such a way that they appear among our contacts that have Google Talk activated. In the image you can see how to invite them in Talk integrated in GMail.
Now, when we have an open chat with someone who speaks English, we just have to add one or both bots to the conversation of English-Spanish translation. We can also do it from Google Talk itself. We just have to click on the “Group chat” button that appears in the image. Talk built into GMail has a similar button in the chat window.
As can be seen, and with few exceptions, translations are into English or from English. If we want to speak to a Croatian, the translation will have to be Spanish to English and from English to Croatian (and vice versa… in total four bots), so any resemblance to the original meaning may be a coincidence.
In fact, it doesn’t take too much to get a bad translation … We did a simple test, translating “I love Bleach”, a manga, from English to Japanese. According to Google Talk’s “English-Japanese” bot, the translation is 私 グ ス タ ブ リ ー チ. But the translation is disastrous, from what we have been able to verify thanks to Luis Rodríguez, from Japonismo.com:
It is a solution to get out of trouble. It works best between languages of Indo-European origin, as you would expect. But if a more reliable translation is needed, we either seek the help of a professional translator or use automatic payment options.
Remember that we are open to answering interesting questions like this, you just have to send it through our contact form. I take this opportunity to thank those who have collaborated in the writing of this article: Rodrigo Fernández, Albertini, Fiona and Luis Rodríguez.
In Genbeta | Genbeta responds
Official site | Google Talk Help