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Monday, August 22, 2005

Translating Words With the Help of Google Images

One trick I’m using when I want to translate a word into another language – and I want to be sure I’m translating it right – is to validate a Google translator result with Google Images. Here’s how it works:

  1. Go to and click on “Language tools” to the right
  2. Enter your word*, as well as your in and out language
  3. Copy the resulting word – say, some Chinese characters – into Google Images
  4. If the images don’t show what you were looking for, it’s probably translated falsely (if so, Google Answers may serve as last resort)

*As an example, I want to translate the game “TriviaNut” from into Spanish. Entering “nut” into the Google translator, and querying Google Images for the resulting “tuerca”, shows me nut-the-technical-part-of-an-engine (as in “every nut, bolt and screw”) but nowhere can I see nut-the-food (as in “a tough nut to crack”). Of course, even if I would get the correct translation, there’s still the problem that I don’t know if the phrase “trivia nut” exists in Spanish – I later found out it doesn’t.


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