I’ve used Babelfish to help me translate many things. When I’m trying to read an article in a foreign language or register for a forum that’s not in English, I’ve always used Babelfish to help. Despite it’s many errors, I usually can get the overall jist of things. Even for languages that I do know or know a bit of (i.e. Chinese, Japanes, Spanish), if I don’t want to spend time trying to decipher it, I usually translate it into English and read it as that.
From an Ars Technica article, Skype offers fee-based live translation service:
The process is also a bit cumbersome, and I don’t think it’s a good forum for phone sex or planning illegal activities, no matter how confidential Language Line says the translation process is. And you’d have to be financially suicidal in order to translate a Tagalog news site by reading it to a interpreter on the phone and having it read back to you, all at three bucks a minute. Babelfish still has a place.
The fish has moved, though. After babelfish.altavista.com, babelfish.altavista.ditgital.com, and whatever the URL was when Babelfish belonged to Overture, it’s time to get used to babelfish.yahoo.com. The old links still work, but it’s a fair bet that the Yahoo version will see more future development.
Babelfish was awesome, but has been overdue for a revamp and improvement for quite some time. Hopefully Yahoo! would be able to make it better.
Google does also have it’s own translator: Google Translate. I personally haven’t used it much. It’s layout is pretty basic and the languages are a bit more limited than Babelfish, but I’d like to see it improve too. An annoying thing is that http://translate.google.com/ doesn’t work, and you have to go to
http://www.google.com/translate/ [turns out you can’t have the ending / or else it won’t work].
Referring back to the article above, the new service that Skype is providing is actually pretty neat, but quite pricy at $2.99/min. I mean, that’s $180/hr. I’d like to make that kind of money translating for people. Haha.