Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Linguee.com - Online Translator Showing the Context of Sentences

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What is Linguee?

With Linguee, you can search many millions of bilingual texts for words and expressions. Every expression is accompanied by useful additional information and suitable example sentences.

What is the benefit?

When you translate texts to a foreign language, you usually look for common phrases rather than translations of single words. With its intelligent search and the significantly larger amount of stored text content, Linguee is the right tool for this task. You find In which context a translation is used, how frequent a particular translation is, example sentences: How other people translated an expression
By searching not only for a single word, but for a respective word in its context, you can easily find a translation that fits optimal in the respective context. With its large number of entries, Linguee often retrieves translations of rare terms that you don't find anywhere else.:

How do I use Linguee?

Linguee is used like a search engine. You search for a word or a phrase, and you find pairs of sentences that contain the word or the phrase as an exact or similar match. If the search is not successful, it usually pays off to simplify the search phrase and search again. The search result is clearly arranged in groups of expressions and ordered by frequency. By clicking on the "More examples" button you are presented with more example sentences

What Linguee is not

Linguee does not offer an automatic translation of arbitrary texts. Such services may help to get the gist of foreign language texts. However, they are not useful for looking up vocabulary, and you cannot rely on the quality of the generated translations, as a machine cannot understand the subtleties or contexts of language. Linguee takes a different approach: Every entry in the Linguee database has been translated by humans. Currently, there is no viable technical alternative to a human translator, and if you don't have one at hand, there is Linguee.

Where does the text content come from?

The most important source is the bilingual web. Other valuable sources include EU documents and patent specifications.

How exactly do you gather the translations?

A specialised computer program, a web crawler, automatically searches the internet for webpages which are available in multiple language versions. These pages are detected automatically, and the translated sentences and words are extracted. The texts are then evaluated by a machine-learning algorithm which filters out the high quality translations for display. This system is capable of autonomously learning new quality criteria from user feedback to tell the good translations from the bad ones. It has found out, for instance, that a page is usually machine translated if it contains the word "Wordpress" while many words are literally translated. Through this training process, our algorithm is learning to find thousands of such correlations to reliably extract the best translations autonomously. As of now, Linguee software has compared more than a trillion sentences. At the end of the day, only the top 0.01 per cent, i.e. 100 million translated sentences, are retained. Therefore, this automation is the basic reason why Linguee actually works.

No copyright infringement intended. For educational, non-commercial purposes only.

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