The folks at Microsoft have released some very cool technology that does on the fly language translations. It is still currently in beta and part of their "Windows Live" series of products.
There are a couple of different interfaces for it. Here I just copied and pasted some text into the boxes, selected my language and it did the translation for me.
Hey – I didn’t know I could write in Italian!!
Even more interesting is the ability to enter in a web address and have it translate a full page of text for you.
Here is the result when I convert Gina’s Blog into Dutch:
It does an on the fly hover to show you the original language as well.
The coolest thing though is the add-in they make available so you can build this functionality right into your own site. It adds a dropdown to your page (in your reader’s native language) and allows them to quickly translate your content into the language of their choice.
I did some testing to see how it works by translating the german language area of the serendipity support forums into english and found the content to be pretty accessible – at least enough for me to get the spirit and intent of what was being said.
I get a lot of visitors here from all over the world and I often wondered if they can read my ramblings – now they can.
If you speak another language give it a shot by using the handy drop down below my picture to the right and see how well it works. I hope you find it useful.
And I was going to end this with a joke about how I was disappointed that it doesn’t translate into canadian but I decided against it… as a favour to all of my friends from up north.