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Hi, I’m Brad Feld, a managing director at the Foundry Group who lives in Boulder, Colorado. I invest in software and Internet companies around the US, run marathons and read a lot.

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Do You Speak French?

Comments (18)

translateimgOr Arabic, or Chinese, or Dutch, or German, or Greek, or Italian, or Japanese, or Korean, or Portuguese, or Russian, or Spanish?  Last night my Ross-my-IT-guy enabled translation of this blog into those languages via Google’s page translation service. 

I have no idea how well the translations work (since I don’t speak any of those languages), but if you are curious about how he did this, he blogged about Using Google Translation on your site.

  • http://www.uebermeister.com Christoph Jaggi

    Google's page translation sucks big time. The results are just ridiculous. To find out yourself how bad it is, just have it translate a page into another language and then translate it back. (I tried out German and French). Translation seems to be an area where Google is still in search for the right algorithms.

  • http://www.tecnorantes.com Juan Luis

    Like all automatic translations is really awful.
    I tested the spanish translation and it sucks !
    If anyone doesn

  • http://neovox.advancedmagic.com Peter Fankhaenel

    Don't even think about, yet! Just forget automatic translation! The result is outright ridiculous. (I tried german) At least he leaves us a chance to read the original english and doesn't force us to have it translated by means of Geo-IP as some sites have started with.

  • jacques

    Oui, where may I purchase one of your magnifique inspirational translating toilettes?

    • http://www.feld.com Brad Feld

      I think they are free at Google.

  • http://boulder2beijing.blogspot.com Micah

    The Chinese translations are pretty bad. It'll get you a general sense of what is being said, but some of the more technical language (like law or business content) really suffers.

  • virgilio

    I think it works very well for what it is. I can read the blog in the languages i know (german, french, spanish and portuguese) – the worst part is the “Ross-my-IT-guy”, but apart from that everything is readable, not grammatically correct, but easily understandable. I've receive an email in russian a couple of weeks ago and with the automatic translation i could understand it 10 seconds later…. it's not a professional translation, but it communicates. I know i am contradicting the majority here, but i believe they ALL use some form of automatic translation when needed.

  • virgilio

    I think it works very well for what it is. I can read the blog in the languages i know (german, french, spanish and portuguese) – the worst part is the “Ross-my-IT-guy”. Apart from that, everything is readable, not 100% grammatically correct, but easily understandable. At the end communication is what matters.

  • kip

    Interesting idea from this: adverts should translate as well or switch to be geographically specific based upon language.

  • http://stevenloi.tumblr.com Steven Loi

    Brad – My team and I made a Facebook app (Cosmopolitan Wall) when we were at the CommunityNext conference in Sunnyvale (Noah Kagan hosted it) where you write in English and translate it to any languages that Google Translator supports. From our testing, we know that the Spanish and Chinese translation were very poor, but German and Arabic didn't seem too horrendous. It seems to work better than the earlier ones like Babelfish.

    I'll be shooting over an e-mail to you soon (Thursday)… cranking away at our project. :)

  • http://www.techventurebusiness.com Yuki

    I think that the quality of this kind of automatic translation largely depends on how close the sentence structures is in given 2 languages and how translation-ready (textbook like plainness) the sentences are written…
    As the structure is pretty far, Japanese translation is not readable even with this simple post, unfortunately.
    I write my blog in Japanese and have been looking for some ways that I can translate it to English with little effort…. Hope someone figures out this problem in the near future.

  • Sue Kunz

    Brad,
    We can cover German, French, Spanish, Italian, and Russian. Friends can handle Greek, Dutch, Korean, and Chinese. What do you need?

  • Maktoum Abdullah Has

    I think any translation web app will need a lot of work in terms of possible cognitive learning in translation and also a huge database of “similar phrases” It is simply impossible to ever translate accurately, we has humans have trouble finding the apt word? and a computer does all the translations hmm interesting….
    I speak 7 languages and haven't found a perfect translation.! and I write my blog in english its easier. In AraGlish we write like this Ah7lan Wah Sahlan which means hi welcome…

  • http://www.co-fontaine.com C-O

    I am french (mother tongue) but I prefer by far to read this blog in english.
    Congratulations for your marathons, it's great ! (I also practise the running but over more reasonable distances :-)

  • http://www.italki.com Kevin Chen

    In general I think automatic translations are decent for getting a very rough idea of what is going on a webpage (it's ok for readers). But for the publishing / writing side, automatic translations have a long way to go.

    This is a really late posting, but in terms of translations — you can also look at human / social-network powered versions — cucumis.org does this. I'm sure everyone's heard of how facebook is using their users to translate their site into Spanish (and now German).

    And if you're looking for more personal translation and language help, there is also a really vibrant community at italki.com. There are lots of users from all over the world who are often willing to help new users out. (disclosure: I am a co-founder).

  • http://www.italki.com Kevin Chen

    In general I think automatic translations are decent for getting a very rough idea of what is going on a webpage (it's ok for readers). But for the publishing / writing side, automatic translations have a long way to go.

    This is a really late posting, but in terms of translations — you can also look at human / social-network powered versions — cucumis.org does this. I'm sure everyone's heard of how facebook is using their users to translate their site into Spanish (and now German).

    And if you're looking for more personal translation and language help, there is also a really vibrant community at italki.com. There are lots of users from all over the world who are often willing to help new users out. (disclosure: I am a co-founder).

  • http://www.italki.com Kevin Chen

    In general I think automatic translations are decent for getting a very rough idea of what is going on a webpage (it's ok for readers). But for the publishing / writing side, automatic translations have a long way to go.

    This is a really late posting, but in terms of translations — you can also look at human / social-network powered versions — cucumis.org does this. I'm sure everyone's heard of how facebook is using their users to translate their site into Spanish (and now German).

    And if you're looking for more personal translation and language help, there is also a really vibrant community at italki.com. There are lots of users from all over the world who are often willing to help new users out. (disclosure: I am a co-founder).

  • http://www.italki.com Kevin Chen

    In general I think automatic translations are decent for getting a very rough idea of what is going on a webpage (it's ok for readers). But for the publishing / writing side, automatic translations have a long way to go.

    This is a really late posting, but in terms of translations — you can also look at human / social-network powered versions — cucumis.org does this. I'm sure everyone's heard of how facebook is using their users to translate their site into Spanish (and now German).

    And if you're looking for more personal translation and language help, there is also a really vibrant community at italki.com. There are lots of users from all over the world who are often willing to help new users out. (disclosure: I am a co-founder).

  • Christoph Jaggi

    Google's page translation sucks big time. The results are just ridiculous. To find out yourself how bad it is, just have it translate a page into another language and then translate it back. (I tried out German and French). Translation seems to be an area where Google is still in search for the right algorithms.

  • Juan Luis

    Like all automatic translations is really awful.
    I tested the spanish translation and it sucks !
    If anyone doesn´t understand english it´s difficult they could read your blog at least in spanish

  • jacques

    Oui, where may I purchase one of your magnifique inspirational translating toilettes?

  • http://intensedebate.com/people/virgilio5113 virgilio5113

    I think it works very well for what it is. I can read the blog in the languages i know (german, french, spanish and portuguese) – the worst part is the "Ross-my-IT-guy", but apart from that everything is readable, not grammatically correct, but easily understandable. I've receive an email in russian a couple of weeks ago and with the automatic translation i could understand it 10 seconds later…. it's not a professional translation, but it communicates. I know i am contradicting the majority here, but i believe they ALL use some form of automatic translation when needed.

  • Peter Fankhaenel

    Don't even think about, yet! Just forget automatic translation! The result is outright ridiculous. (I tried german) At least he leaves us a chance to read the original english and doesn't force us to have it translated by means of Geo-IP as some sites have started with.

  • http://intensedebate.com/people/bfeld bfeld

    I think they are free at Google.

  • virgilio

    I think it works very well for what it is. I can read the blog in the languages i know (german, french, spanish and portuguese) – the worst part is the "Ross-my-IT-guy". Apart from that, everything is readable, not 100% grammatically correct, but easily understandable. At the end communication is what matters.

  • kip

    Interesting idea from this: adverts should translate as well or switch to be geographically specific based upon language.

  • Steven Loi

    Brad – My team and I made a Facebook app (Cosmopolitan Wall) when we were at the CommunityNext conference in Sunnyvale (Noah Kagan hosted it) where you write in English and translate it to any languages that Google Translator supports. From our testing, we know that the Spanish and Chinese translation were very poor, but German and Arabic didn't seem too horrendous. It seems to work better than the earlier ones like Babelfish.

    I'll be shooting over an e-mail to you soon (Thursday)… cranking away at our project. :)

  • http://intensedebate.com/people/sue_kunz5122 sue_kunz5122

    Brad,
    We can cover German, French, Spanish, Italian, and Russian. Friends can handle Greek, Dutch, Korean, and Chinese. What do you need?

  • Yuki

    I think that the quality of this kind of automatic translation largely depends on how close the sentence structures is in given 2 languages and how translation-ready (textbook like plainness) the sentences are written…
    As the structure is pretty far, Japanese translation is not readable even with this simple post, unfortunately.
    I write my blog in Japanese and have been looking for some ways that I can translate it to English with little effort…. Hope someone figures out this problem in the near future.

  • Micah

    The Chinese translations are pretty bad. It'll get you a general sense of what is being said, but some of the more technical language (like law or business content) really suffers.

  • Maktoum Abdullah Has

    I think any translation web app will need a lot of work in terms of possible cognitive learning in translation and also a huge database of "similar phrases" It is simply impossible to ever translate accurately, we has humans have trouble finding the apt word? and a computer does all the translations hmm interesting….
    I speak 7 languages and haven't found a perfect translation.! and I write my blog in english its easier. In AraGlish we write like this Ah7lan Wah Sahlan which means hi welcome…

  • C-O

    I am french (mother tongue) but I prefer by far to read this blog in english.
    Congratulations for your marathons, it's great ! (I also practise the running but over more reasonable distances :-)

  • http://www.setranslations.com/ spanish translator

    Spanish translation by qualified Spanish English translators. Spanish to English Translation Specialists.

    Thanks

    spanish translator

    http://www.setranslations.com/

  • chimiling

    Its not 100% percent accurate. Don't expect to get an A+, nor anywhere near a B, on your spanish paper. Miraculously, or because of some fluke on the teacher's behalf, you may get a C-. Very unlikely. Maybe a D+ for effort, my money is on the D- or an F. The syntax, diction, and verb tense is off.
    Diction:
    I hope it rains tomorrow. (in spanish, it would be "Espero que llueva mañana", variant being "Espero que mañana llueva")
    Used google translator, from english to spanish, it gave me this load of bs.
    "Espero que mañana las lluvias"
    "Espero que mañana" part is right, at which I'm shocked that google got it right. Las means plural feminine form of "the", like "the houses"(las casas). Lluvias is plural of "rain".

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