I read with interest the article, "From the Geneasphere" in today's Chinook,
page 17. Joan Miller has a most useful write-up on the translating of
material between languages, using Google Translate. I am corresponding
these days with a third cousin in France, who does not know English and my
French is barely high school level.
Does it work? Yes, to a degree. Mostly, when you use the Google
Translator, you get workable results. I would suggest a further step if you
want to get better precision. First, I write up what I want in English.
Then, I copy and paste the English text into the English --> French box in
Google Translator. I then copy the resultant French translation and usually
paste it somewhere. You then switch the translator to be French -->
English. Now paste your new French version into the translator and see the
English results. If it ends up sounding garbled, you still have a chance to
fix it. Go back to your original English version and try some different
words- just substitute, especially obscure words and tenses and also shorten
the sentences if suitable. Then try again and see if you get closer.
Google Translator is not perfect but it can be very practical.
I use this technique to build a bilingual version of my Family Weber website
and it is very readable. See
My thanks to Joan Miller for explaining this most useful genealogy and
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