Identifying foreign languages with Polyglot

James Thornton


polyglot.jpgObviously it’s great that the Web is such a global resource and is open to people from all over the world, but with so many languages in use online, things can get a little confusing at times. If you’re anything like us then you’ve surely stumbled across an interesting looking site when searching for something, only to be presented with pages of text written in a strange language.

Of course, there are plenty of translation services around, such as Google Translate and Babelfish, but what if you can’t even work out what the language is in the first place and everything looks like it’s written in Klingon? Install Polygot on your PC and you’ll never have this problem again. This language recognition tool is able to automatically recognize the language in which a piece of text, a phrase, or, in some cases, a single word, is written. Polygot can currently pinpoint 432 different languages and dialects, helping you to hone your skills at spotting Khoekhoegowab from Kwanyama.

The only downside is that the application doesn’t provide any translation itself, leaving you to copy and paste the text into a separate translation tool. Aside from Google Translate and Babelfish, there are some decent stand-alone apps about that perform well. Our favourite is probably Babylon Pro, for its sheer range of available languages (over 50 at the last count) and the fact that it can instantly translate any word or phrase you mouse over on a web page or a document. Used in tandem with Polyglot, you should never have to miss out information from foreign-language websites again.

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