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December 17, 2010

Google Translate Shows Alternate Translations

No translation is perfect, and that's especially true for a machine translation service like Google Translate. From now on, when you translate a text using Google Translate and Google finds some reliable alternate translations, you can pick one of them.

"Just click the translated phrase and you'll see a pop-up menu of possible alternates for that phrase, as well as the original phrase highlighted in your original text. Not only can these alternative translations give you a better understanding of a confusing translation, but they also allow you to help Google choose the best alternative when we make a mistake," explains Google.

It's interesting to notice that the new feature helps you better understand the technology behind Google Translate. "Typically, when we produce a translation, our system searches through millions of possible translations, selecting the best -- that is, the most statistically likely -- translation. With this feature, we expose more of those possible alternatives."


Right now, Google only shows alternate translations when you try to translate a text, so this doesn't work for web pages.

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