26 July 2012

Bye bye Babel: Breaking language barriers online

Source for image
Thanks to Dear Myrtle (Pat Richley-Erickson) for posting a link on her FB page to the referenced article!

Eventually we all come across an article that is written in a language other than our native language that we desperately would like to know the contents of!

In the genealogical community and elsewhere, those who don’t speak the “native language” of the article, often skip articles not written in their native language and so are missing out on some great and possible vital information about their non-US-born ancestors!  

You don’t need to do that!  There are many online translation sites like Babelfish, Google Translate, and Bing Translator with others being created and/or improved that make it so very easy for you to get a “rough” translation of the webpage or document’s content or email.  

For example, you are surfing using Google Chrome and come across a non-English website.  Google Chrome will ask you if you would like for it to translate the page – I typically say “heck yes,” please translate it for me!  This has opened the way to so many neat databases (including those found in the various non-US editions of Ancestry).



And, have you not contacted a non-US archive or researcher or genealogy society because you don’t know the native language?  Again, I have used online translation tools to craft e-mails and posts for non-English-speaking individuals.

Are they the best-written and grammatically wonderful queries?  Of course not!  And, do they get the gist of my question across and have I received responses to those queries?  Yes.  I had a whole dialogue with someone in France where he wrote in “online translated” English and I wrote in “online translated” French and that worked out just fine, though, there definitely were some “funny” turns of phrase

The original article mentioned by Dear Myrtle states ...

According to the translation firm Smartling, native English speakers only represented 27% of the total Internet population in 2011. Yet, 56% of online pages are English-only. So how do we break language barriers online? Well, here are a few tools that can help you browse content in a language you don’t speak – pages of course, but also video and even speech.

Read the full article to learn about some neat translation tools to both allow you to read material you come across and also how you might make your material available by posting and/or creating it in a language more like that spoken by your ancestors than yourself!

Have you recently and successfully communicated with a non-English individual about your genealogy research via e-mail, web post?  or successfully navigated a non-English database?  Please share your successes and help encourage more of us to not let a little matter of "language" stop us in our pursuit of genealogical valuable material!






~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
copyright © National Genealogical Society, 3108 Columbia Pike, Suite 300, Arlington, Virginia 22204-4370. http://www.ngsgenealogy.org.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ 
Republication of UpFront articles is permitted and encouraged for non-commercial purposes without express permission from NGS. Please drop us a note telling us where and when you are using the article. Express written permission is required if you wish to republish UpFront articles for commercial purposes. You may send a request for express written permission to UpFront@ngsgenealogy.org. All republished articles may not be edited or reworded and must contain the copyright statement found at the bottom of each UpFront article.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Follow NGS via Facebook, YouTube, Google+, Twitter
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Think your friends, colleagues, or fellow genealogy researchers would find this blog post interesting? If so, please let them know that anyone can read past UpFront with NGS posts or subscribe!
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Suggestions for topics for future UpFront with NGS posts are always welcome. Please send any suggested topics to UpfrontNGS@mosaicrpm.com







~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
copyright © National Genealogical Society, 3108 Columbia Pike, Suite 300, Arlington, Virginia 22204-4370. http://www.ngsgenealogy.org.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ 
Republication of UpFront articles is permitted and encouraged for non-commercial purposes without express permission from NGS. Please drop us a note telling us where and when you are using the article. Express written permission is required if you wish to republish UpFront articles for commercial purposes. You may send a request for express written permission to UpFront@ngsgenealogy.org. All republished articles may not be edited or reworded and must contain the copyright statement found at the bottom of each UpFront article.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Follow NGS via Facebook, YouTube, Google+, Twitter
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Think your friends, colleagues, or fellow genealogy researchers would find this blog post interesting? If so, please let them know that anyone can read past UpFront with NGS posts or subscribe!
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Suggestions for topics for future UpFront with NGS posts are always welcome. Please send any suggested topics to UpfrontNGS@mosaicrpm.com