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Five Fun Things to Do with Google Translate

written by: Anurag Ghosh•edited by: Christian Cawley•updated: 7/11/2011

Google Translate can be very helpful to those who want to translate a foreign language to English and vice-versa. There are also plenty of fun things to do with Google Translate, including beatboxing and using chat bots to translate a chat message.

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    Have a Laugh with Google Translate

    With time, Google Translate has improved considerably in translating a variety of languages, though one may still find some of the translated text nonsensical because the service uses a statistical matching technique instead of a dictionary approach in translating languages. However, this free online translation service from Google is very helpful to many individuals who want a translation service that translates a text into the desired language quickly.

    There are also many fun things to do with Google Translate, including translating Gmail messages or beatboxing to create your own sound effects.

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    1. Google Translate Lorem Ipsum Easter Egg

    Fun Things to Do with Google Translate - Lorem Ipsum Easter Egg With the inclusion of Latin to its list of languages, Google Translate has given an opportunity to non-Latin speakers to have fun and use the famous Lorem Ipsum filler text to test Google’s translating capabilities. To the surprise of many, the first few words “Lorem Ipsum Dolor" of the filler text are translated as “Hello World!" Try It.

    Now everyone knows that “Hello World" is a programmer’s favorite line. You may have noticed this on a newly created blog as well. Before we jump into conclusions and start criticizing Google’s inability to translate, we need to know that Lorem Ipsum is a placeholder text used in graphic design and publishing. You will find the entire text in some sample text layouts of a document or a visual presentation.

    The entire Lorem Ipsum placeholder text is actually borrowed from the philosophical writings of Cicero. The words of the filler text are altered or some alphabets removed, and are certainly not proper Latin. So Lorem Ipsum is actually “Dolorem Ipsum", which roughly translates to “loves pain itself" in English. The correct line is “dolorem ipsum dolor sit amet" and translates as “loves pain itself, pain is love." What’s surprising is that removing “do" from the line and typing in Lorem Ipsum Dolor will translate as a completely different sentence, which is surely a mystery or maybe a glitch.

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    2. Google Translate BeatBox - Fun Things to Do with Google Translate

    Google Translate Beatbox Beatboxing is probably one of the most fun things to do with Google Translate. It all started when a Reddit user posted an unusual sequence of letters in a forum and encouraged other users to copy-paste the entire sequence, translate from German to German and click the Listen button. The result was a unique beat sound, which surprised many, even the developers at Google. (Click on the image to your left to enlarge and see what the sequence is.)

    With beatboxing, one can really experiment and create their own sound effects. The letters “f", “w" and “r" are generally used for beatboxing, and a cheat sheet based on these and other alphabets was posted on Lockergnome. The post has a list of two-letter combinations such as vk, bk, pv, bschk. Each combination produces a different sound; for example if you type in zk zk zk zk zk on the Google translate text box and set the translate options to German in both From and To drop-down boxes, you will get a sound that’s similar to the sound produced by a suspended cymbal. Using these two-letter combos, you can create your own sequence of sounds. And if you are getting short of ideas, there’s an entire beatboxing community at tumblr (http://googlebeatbox.tumblr.com/) to check out innovative beatboxing sounds.

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    3. Translating Gmail Messages with Google Translate

    There are times when you receive a message in a language you cannot understand. To translate any languages to English, there’s a translation option in Gmail. Powered by Google Translate, the Message Translation option translates a variety of languages. To enable this option, follow these steps:

    1. Launch Gmail and login with your ID and password.

    2. Click the gear icon on the top-right corner of the screen. Click Mail Settings

    Mail Settings 

    3. Click on the Labs tab in the Settings option. Scroll down and you will find the Message Translation service.

    4. Click on the Enable radio button and select Save Changes.

    Enable Message Translation 

      When someone sends a message in a language different from the default language, The Message Translation service detects the language and up pops a header at the top of the message. Click the Translate Message link and you will find the translated message inline.

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      4. Have Fun with New Features in Google Translate

      Alternate Translations:

      There are some new features in Google Translate that can be of immense use to language buffs. The new Alternate Translation option helps users to get synonyms of the translated word. All they have to do is click the translated word and a drop-down box pops up to show a list of alternate synonyms.

      Fun Things to Do with Google Translate - Google Translate Alternate Translations 

      Read Phonetically:

      Phonetic pronunciation was released in 2009. Today, this feature is extremely useful for those translating English to Persian and Hindi. All you have to do is click the Read phonetically link and get the phonetic pronunciation of any translated word or sentence.

      Google Translate Phonetic Pronunciation 

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      5. Google Talk Translation Bots

      Using Google’s online translation service to translate Google chat messages is one of the fun things to do with Google Translate. With Google Talk’s helpful translation bots, you can translate chat messages within no time. You have to chat with translation bots, which are two-letter abbreviations of two different languages, e.g. ar2en, where “ar" is the two-letter abbreviation of Arabic language and “en" stands for English.

      If you want to use a translation bot, go to Google Talk support and scroll down to get a complete list of chat bots.To translate German to English, click on the de2en link to open a small window. Type in the message and the chat bot will instantly translate it to English. Here’s how you do it:

      • Go To Google Talk Support
      • Scroll Down to get a complete list of chat bots
      • Click on any link below the Bots category. A small window will open.
      • Type in the message or word and the bot will translate it to English.

      The Google Talk translation bot option is powered by Google Translate and may not be 100 percent accurate in translating any language. Still, chat bots are quite helpful in translating words and sentences in languages you cannot understand.

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      References

      “Google Translate’s Lorem Ipsum Easter Egg" http://www.xefer.com/2010/10/lorem-ipsum

      "First Example of Beatboxing in Google Translate" http://www.reddit.com/r/funny/comments/ede97/google_translate_beatboxing_just_listen/

      “Google Translate Beatbox Cheat Sheet" http://lockergnome.net/questions/103755/google-beatbox-good-or-rubish

      Screenshots by the author