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Linguee to launch in other languages today December 4, 2013

Posted by Jill (@bonnjill) in Tools, Translation, Translation Sites.
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One of my favorite tools when I translate is Linguee, an online search tool that searches millions of bilingual texts in English and German for words and expressions. It is also available for French and Spanish. It uses translated text (aka corpora) that are on the web and compares the original sentence and the translation.

When you search for a term or phrase, it shows the actual sentences in which the term is used on the web side-by-side, allowing you to get an idea of how the term has been translated on other sites and giving you some possible ideas. One caveat is that some of the examples are poorly translated, but it can be an excellent starting point for your thought process when trying to find a good solution for a particularly tricky phrase. Just think critically before using the term or phrase blindly and if you are unsure make sure you double-check it using other means.

They are branching out into other languages such as Chinese, Russian, Japanese, Italian and others as of today. As they explain, “In Germany, France and Spain, Linguee’s new bilingual dictionary concept is already a huge success story: over a million daily unique users have recently reached 2 billion searches.” (although probably a thousand hits a day are probably from me 😉 ).

By indexing translations available online, Linguee can provide 1000 times more entries than the largest traditional bilingual dictionaries. While traditional online dictionaries offer editorial content only – which sets natural limits on its size, even for the most elaborate ones – Linguee is able to search a vast amount of translations published by companies and various institutions on the internet, leveraging the know-how of millions of translators.

Using the site is really easy, but if you need a quick overview please watch their video.

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Comments»

1. Silvia DAmico - December 6, 2013

Thanks for sharing, Jill! I will finally be able to use it with Italian 😀

2. Sally Loren - December 23, 2013

Yes I also find Linguee useful as a source of inspiration, but that only. I find it offputting that a lot of the translations are flagged as unreliable. When I have the time (which is rare) I’m also a keen flagger of the particularly rubbish ones. However, in its defence I did comment to the Linguee team on the (at the time) incorrect translation of the German term “Fertigungstiefe”. On Linguee and many other online dictionaries it was wrongly translated as “manufacturing depth”. This will have most native speakers of English scratching their heads and saying “Erm. What???”. After a brief e-mail ping-pong Linguee did accept my definition of the term. All it means is the amount of manufacturing that is done in-house. For example, the automotive industry is well known for manufacturing little in-house, but buying in the parts and assembling them in the factory. Linguee have now zapped the dreadful “manufacturing depth” and added a few more sensible alternatives. This is the first time that any contact with the team of any online dictionary has actually borne any fruit. So all power to their elbow as we Brits say! And I encourage fellow translators to actively participate in flagging anything that’s bad.

3. Mero Server International - August 21, 2014

When I have the time (which is rare) I’m also a keen flagger of the particularly rubbish ones. However, in its defence I did comment to the Linguee team on the (at the time) incorrect translation of the German term “Fertigungstiefe”. On Linguee and many other online dictionaries it was wrongly translated as “manufacturing depth”. This is the first time that any contact with the team of any online dictionary has actually borne any fruit.


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