Posted by Dennis » Add Comment »
Holy wow! This is the coolest thing I’ve seen all week, and I’ve seen all kinds of cool stuff. I’m using this RIGHT NOW.
(If you’re not using Google Chrome by the way, you should. It transforms the web by making everything seamless across computers and even including your phone. You do have an Android phone, right?)
(via Google on Google Plus)
Immersion in a foreign language is one of the fastest paths to fluency. Of course, most of us can’t just zip off to Paris for a year to learn French. What we do have, though, is automatic translation technology. That got a few of us in Creative Lab thinking: could you simulate the immersion just a bit on the websites you visit every day?
To find out, we collaborated with Use All Five (http://useallfive.com/) to work up a Chrome extension that uses the Google Translate API to translate intermittent phrases on a web page. Et voila! You can now browse the web in Frenglish, Spanglish or even Tagaloglish. But don’t cancel your Mandarin classes yet: this is just a little experiment that may delight (or infuriate) the neurolinguists in the house. If you want to play with it, you can install it here: http://goo.gl/i3fGX. Glücklich learning!
Video credits: Use All Five and Google Creative Lab
One neat application would be to correct the errors that Google Translate makes. For example, in Latin I looked at an NPR story that said ‘in improviso iter,’ which should be ‘in improviso itinere.’ Students could learn by being Latin copy editors.