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Monday, May 1, 2006

Yahoo’s Brilliant Babel Fish Makeover

Posted by @ 5:42 pm

Yahoo!'s Babel Fish LogoYahoo! has revived AltaVista’s Babel Fish, the translation service that’s been around since the dawn of search engines (or so it seems), by integrating it into Yahoo! Search.

Since last week, the new and improved Babel Fish is available at The translation service now lets you:

  • Translate up to 150 words at a time;
  • Run a search based on text Babel Fish translated for you;
  • Translate an entire Web page;
  • Choose from 38 language combinations for translation – from “traditional Chinese to English” to “Portuguese to French”;
  • Translate straight from your browser by adding a Babel Fish toolbar button.

I hope the makeover gives Babel Fish, which has been languishing in obscurity for some time, a new lease on life. Even though (or especially because) translation results can sometimes err on the side of the humorous rather than the accurate, Babel Fish is a very handy tool that is pretty good at giving you a rough idea of what foreign language texts say, and can be quite entertaining in the process.

Need to get into Yahoo! fast? Try Y-Boost – only $19.95!

Discussion (1 - comment)

All very well but the “Add Babel Fish Translation to your site”
bit is broken.

The Mark Twain Example doesn’t work, and I couldn’t I get the “Translate your page” bit to work with my site so I’ve gone back to the Alta Vista version which is still OK (apart from the long standing bug).

By Anthony Houghton - May 2, 2006

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