Tuesday, December 02, 2008

Frengly Means Online Translation For 25 Languages

Image from Frengly.comEvery day brings us a flood of new releases and updates of downloadable software and "Web 2.0" software, which lets you do things on the web: manage your tasks, edit a photo, create and share a docoment, and on and on. ... Many of these offerings are free; and many of them (whether free or not) immediately fall into the category that one Internet author has called "cool but useless".

Yet, as Spinoza reminded us ("All excellent things are both difficult and rare.") a small number of these tools are not only cool and fun to use, but incredibly useful. The latest of these prizes is a website called Frengly, found at http://frengly.com.

Frengly is an excellent, superbe, ausgezeichnet — and free! — online translator that translates to and from more than 25 languages, including:

  • English
  • French
  • German
  • Spanish
  • Italian
  • Arabic
  • Bulgarian
  • Chinese (both Simplified and Traditional)
  • Croatian
  • Danish
  • Finnish
  • Hindi
  • Greek
  • Korean
  • Norweigan
  • Polish
  • Romanian
  • Dutch
  • Swedish
  • Portuguese
  • Japanese
  • Russian
  • Hebrew
  • Czech
  • Vietnamese
  • Slovakian
In general, whenever you use a machine (or software) to change languages, you might want to check for accuracy before sending your translated message. Here's how I check: after using the website to translate from, say, English to French, I then use the website to translate back from the (just-translated) French, to English.

This avoids embarrassing mistakes like the one I made today, when I tried to tell some French friends: "I hope that you are thriving." ... The website transmogrified that phrase into: "I hope that you are booming."

Quel dommage! ... But I'm sure that I will be forgiven avec un sourire -- with a smile.