A problem with having an international g/f is that her parents can't speak english.
She was chatting her parents on MSN and i decided that I would have a go and see how the google translator holds up
(yes there is the older Altavista babel-fish, but I had trouble with it not being able to translate a LOT of words)

I could easily translate what her mother said to me into English. However, I was very affraid that what I would translate into Chinese for her would turn out very wrong. So i got into the habit of translating English into Chinese. Copying the translated chinese, and pasting it back into Google translate to translate it BACK into english. While this isn't foolproof, I figured it would at least offer some additional security that I don't accidentally call her mother a 3-eyed fish.

The problem with this approach is that it is VERY time consuming, if the translation wasn't great, I would have to repeat the process using less ambiguous words which could take many cycles. I decided to see if I could create an application that could do this for me, unfortunately the Google api doesn't expose the translation service yet.
However I found a 'hack' to do a HTML scrape and pull the results out
now I've got a simple WPF app that can quickly translate, and show me the translation back so i can quickly tweak what I say to her mother.
I've only had one or two "huh, what you said makes no sense" moments ;-)

By David Burela

Blogged with Flock