The UX of Google Translate

Today, I saw a comment on a previous Jets post.

Niw wiem co Wy widzicie w tym futbolu ? niech mi ktos to wyjasni ,bo nie bardzo rozumiem.sorry nie znam angielskiego na tyle by poprawnie sie tu na forum wyrazic-pozdrawiam Les

At first I thought it might be spam, but I saw the word futbolo in it.  I wanted to know what it said, so I googled the word translate and found the Google Translator.  It didn’t have an option for “I don’t know which language”, so I just started guessing.  Spanish, obviously not.  Not danish, bulgarian, russian, etc etc.  Aha!  It’s polish!  The translator spit out:

Niw I know what you see in this football? Let me someone is made clear, because not very rozumiem.sorry I do not know enough English to properly here on the forum Express-greet Les

How cool is that?  Within a few minutes, I have a pretty intelligible translation.  Great work on the part of the Google team, although I have no idea how it makes them any money.  Also they have tools for firefox where you could instantly translate right on a page.  Amazing.

Speaking of the Jets, getting Brett Farve would be super cool.

5 replies on “The UX of Google Translate”

Szkoda, ?e t?umaczenie nadal nie jest na tyle dobre, ?eby oficjalne cz??ci stron www móc t?umaczy? automatycznie i zapewnia? w ten sposób du?? ilo?? j?zykowych wersji automagicznie. Inny problemem to nadal niepoprawnie napisane wyrazy, tak jak “Niw” który powinien poprawiony na “nie” przez Google Translator. Pozdrowienia z Polski Glen, czytam Twojego bloga od dawna i jest bardzo ciekawy :).

Ok, so it’s not perfect, but still, much better than nothing. 🙂
I tried the above in another translator.

The last sentence says that the author has read my blog for a while and finds it “ciekawy ”
Google says “interesting” and poltran says “curious”. Very different meanings. 🙂
Intran defines that last word as “quaint, of interest, inquisitive, curious, peeping”. Again, all different subtexts.

Language is fascinating. I wonder how far away we are from real time translations with ear implants.

This could be poor UI but if you scroll all the way up in the drop down boxes in Google Translate you’ll see that the very first option is Detect Language. If you choose that Google will try to figure out what the language it. I am amazed at how often it guesses right.


Ahh, I didn’t see that at first. Yes, it should be the default, not spanish. Also, the “suggest a better translation” is pretty cool too. Generally, I feel the the UI of Google is pretty terrible but the UX is pretty good. I need to think and really nail down why that is.

Whatya think?