Deborah Healey's Attic : Tunisia 2010 - Translation Tools

Research Tools

Background reading

Translation Techniques - a very general overview:

Translation Strategies - a lesson plan for Spanish-English translation: Translation Article Knowledgebase - articles on translation techniques in general ; you can also search for specific language information.

Within that knowledgebase, you can find this about Arabic-English translation. It's in Arabic, so I leave it to my Arabic-speaking colleagues to determine how useful it is. Using Open Source Translation Tools: Arabic Language

Online translators and dictionaries (for English/Arabic)

Try different ones to see which do the best job with a specific language and subject area. For fun, take the translator's output and reverse it - see how it translates its output back into the original language. It's a clear example of the weakness of machine translation, especially with non-business topics.

WorldStar Machine Translators: - this was one of the better English-Arabic translators with the small snippet we tried.

Babylon also has several translation options - it seemed to use the same translation engine as WorldStar in English to Arabic translation:

Google Translate did not do as good as job with English-Arabic as the others, but you can suggest how it would better translate a specific text:

Babelfish is one of the earliest free machine translators online, and still does a solid job. It does not translate Arabic:

Checking usage of English words

Compleat Lexical Tutor - concordance and collocation using a variety of corpora. Choose from Brown (American English), BNC written or spoken (British English), Legal English, Medical English, and more:

An interesting exercise is to see the difference in output (look at the box showing collocations at the bottom) using the word "suppose" among the different corpora, especially between spoken English and legal English.


Creative Commons License
Deborah's Attic by Deborah Healey is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License. Based on a work at
| © 2020 Deborah Healey

Last updated 14 February 2010