General Question

KatawaGrey's avatar

Anybody know any good online translators?

Asked by KatawaGrey (21467points) September 23rd, 2008

I need a website where I can plug in really just one word and get a good answer or answers out of. Sometimes when I do my Spanish homework I come across weird words that aren’t in the back of the book.

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10 Answers

gailcalled's avatar

Babel Fish can be really inaccurate. It has troubles with idioms sometimes and also has a limited vocabulary.

Sites on Google

And why not buy a really good English-to-Spanish; Spanish/English dictionary? I am looking for a used one myself.

Celeste00's avatar

I think “good online translator” is an oxymoron. Most of them use translation memory rules, which work with single terms, for single meanings. This makes them incredible inaccurate if any term has more than one meaning, or if you need them to view context at all. Get a dictionary, will serve you much better.

La_chica_gomela's avatar is great! I’ve had more than one spanish teacher recommend it. The best part is that if the word is not in the dictionary (as many are not, colloquialisms, regionalisms, etc) you can “ask a question” and native speakers will answer it for you.

Seesul's avatar

If you want a good example of how online translators can be misleading, put in a phrase, especially an idiomatic one, and then translate it into another language and then back to english and see what you get.

I agree with the good dictionary. Especially if you are just starting out in the language. It will be very obvious to the instructor.

My son is very proficient in another language and only uses the online dictionaries to double check, give him an idea, and when he doesn’t have his real dictionary with him.

La_chica_gomela's avatar

*To clarify after reading Seesul’s answer, I took the question to be asking for a bilingual dictionary. is not a translator.

Katawagrey—what did you mean?

KatawaGrey's avatar

Honestly, any online reference is great. I just asked about translators because I figured there would be more information there. It’s just frustrating when I’m at my computer writing a Spanish paper and I can’t quite remember that one word. It sounds like the site you suggested will serve me better.

gailcalled's avatar

Keep your dictionary next to computer. I have a French/English and Latin/English and English/English here at all times.

If you have a Mac, the Widget menu has a translator; but sometimes the choices are very strange.

bearfair's avatar

I’m a translation student, and I second the suggestion- it’s an amazing resource, and free. I haven’t bought a Spanish/English dictionary since high school.

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