with Lorelle and Brent VanFossen

Know Before You Go: Translate Web Pages

Often, the best information about a place comes from a website written in the language of the place. You can now translate most web pages into the major languages of the world.

Heading for Germany? Spain? Russia? Sweden? Want to read the news or web pages written in that language so you can find out what is going on and what the culture is like before you travel? Then take advantage of online web page translators.

These online programs will also allow translation of individual words and phrases as well as whole pages. Be careful, though. Translation is a tricky thing.

While planning a trip to Spain during the Bosnia War, we read Spanish news reports to brush up on our language skills. Brent found one news article that translated the “dropping of bombs” to the “dropping of pumps” onto the country. “Bomba” literally means “pumps”, though it also means “bombs”. Another article that mentioned the “freezing of assets” of a terrorist account which translated into “freezing their bottoms”. Okay, so the translation of web pages isn’t a perfect science yet.

You can change Google’s Language Interface, if you are a foreign language reader, to one of 86 different languages, allowing you to read and search in that language.

If you are traveling overseas, consider reading up on what is going on before you travel. This way, not only will you know before you go, you will understand a little more about current events and activities in that country.

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