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Translating Japanese

Don’t understand Japanese but want to get a rough translation?

Jim Breen’s WWWJDIC is the best place to do this. Copy and paste the Japanese text into his translation tool (translate words in Japanese text).

I usually use babelfish for translations but I know they don’t do Japanese; Jim Breen’s site is one of those things you know about if you’re learning Japanese so I thought I’d share.

About Máirín Duffy

Máirín is a principal interaction designer at Red Hat. She is passionate about software freedom and free & open source tools, particularly in the creative domain: her favorite application is Inkscape. You can read more from Máirín on her blog at blog.linuxgrrl.com.

Discussion

17 thoughts on “Translating Japanese

  1. Babelfish

    Actually, Babelfish has an attempt at translating Japanese these days, Google Translate has it too (marked BETA). The quality of the translations is pretty lacking though. (I don’t speak any Japanese and even I notice the quality is terrible. ;-) )

    Posted by kevin_kofler | October 13, 2007, 4:52 am
  2. tried google ?

    translate.google.com does japanese too

    Posted by Anonymous | October 13, 2007, 4:55 am
    • Re: tried google ?

      They do. To be honest, I think you really need to have some exposure to Japanese to understand the translation, though.

      Posted by Anonymous | October 13, 2007, 6:58 am
  3. Comment

    Hmm, trying to use a romanji text in the translation does not help much? Fortunately Fedora has SCIM where I wrote either hiragana and katakana text. Kanji is a bit challenge although I am very able to write. Now that I think about it, I should return to retake Japanese class. Speaking is not a problem but writing require a lot of practice.

    Posted by Anonymous | October 13, 2007, 7:04 am
  4. Comment

    Hmm, trying to use a romanji text in the translation does not help much? Fortunately Fedora has SCIM where I wrote either hiragana and katakana text. Kanji is a bit challenge although I am very able to write. Now that I think about it, I should return to retake Japanese class. Speaking is not a problem but writing require a lot of practice.

    Luya
    P.SP: too bad blogspot does not have openID =(

    Posted by Anonymous | October 13, 2007, 7:15 am
  5. Altavista

    I use Altavista’s Babelfish, far better then Jim Breen for translating whole text, as I use both services on a daily basis I know what I am speaking about =D

    Posted by Anonymous | October 13, 2007, 10:59 am
  6. translations

    Any such thing as an Irish translator?!

    CC

    Posted by Anonymous | October 13, 2007, 6:21 pm
    • Re: translations

      not that i know of. the best resource for Irish I’ve found is daltai.com, but they don’t have a translator.

      Posted by mairin | October 13, 2007, 6:27 pm
      • Re: translations

        Thanks! I never expected anyone in America, knee deep in Fedora to be talking Irish, for some reason! Its well weird…!

        Posted by Anonymous | October 13, 2007, 8:50 pm
        • Re: translations

          I have taken a class in Irish and have been meaning to study more, but the pronunciation always KILLS me, lol. It’s hard without access to a native speaker :(

          Posted by mairin | October 13, 2007, 9:50 pm
  7. Meaning and pronunciation

    That’s pretty cool, though it’s only (heh) Japanese text -> English text. I’d also like some way to figure out pronunciation; I’m listening to the japanesepod101.com lessons so I’m building up the Japanese sound < -> meaning mapping but I have no clue how to read or write anything.

    I can go read German or Turkish websites and since I know the ~25 letters in their alphabet (which looks remarkably similar to my own!) I can pronounce any word in the language. With Japanese it’s all “squiggle that goes this way, then over there, with the boxy shape up there…” to me. :-)

    Posted by Anonymous | October 13, 2007, 11:02 pm
    • Re: Meaning and pronunciation

      oh Japanese pronunciation is pretty straightforward i think – then again i have ~2+ years instruction under a native speaker lol. but ive found watching japanese tv shows from time to time, you hear and remember the pronunciations if you’ve heard them enough.

      if you know the Japanese hiragana and katakana (i think ~47 characters in each) then you’ll be able to pronounce most things that aren’t in kanji – the hiragana and katakana are phonetic alphabets. Kanji are a bit more complicated :) but they are not difficult to look up.

      Posted by mairin | October 14, 2007, 3:39 am
  8. はながかゆい

    http://gjiten.sourceforge.net/ is a gnome dictionary app that uses jims dictionary, very useful when I was learning Japanese.

    but the best thing (after anime) is a Japanese girlfriend :)

    Posted by Anonymous | October 14, 2007, 6:22 am
  9. Jedi

    There used to be a “Jedi Japanese” transolator that was the Bees Knees and so much more. Sadly it was brought offline.

    Posted by Anonymous | October 16, 2007, 2:55 pm
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