Some people eat, sleep and chew gum, I do genealogy and write...

Saturday, May 15, 2010

Google Language Tools -- a boon to genealogists

Google announced enhancements to its Google Translate program called Google Language Tools. You can type a search phrase in your own language, then Google Language Tools will translate your search terms into the target language and find results in the target language. Then translate the results back into your own language for you to read. Google gives the following example:
Example:1. Search for Bern tourist information.2. We translate your query into French and German, and find French and German results.3. Finally, we translate the French and German results back into your language.
 I did a search on "argentine genealogy" and got millions of results with translations into the following languages:

genealogía argentina - Edit

généalogie argentine - Edit

genealogia argentina - Edit

Argentinischer Genealogie - Edit

Google Language Tools opens up a whole new world of searching on foreign language sites. You might try looking for online databases and digital images. A quick search for digital records in Argentina led me to the the International Federation of Library Associations and Institutions (IFLA). The IFLA is the leading international body representing the interests of library and information services and their users. It is the global voice of the library and information profession. Founded in Edinburgh, Scotland, in 1927 at an international conference, they celebrated their 75th birthday at their conference in Glasgow, Scotland in 2002. They now have 1600 Members in approximately 150 countries around the world. IFLA was registered in the Netherlands in 1971. The Royal Library, the national library of the Netherlands, in The Hague, generously provides the facilities for their  headquarters.

OK, here's the deal, this website is in Spanish! Translated instantly into English by Google. Now, there was a website for the IFLA in English, but the one I found was in Spanish. Never mind that I read Spanish fluently, the point is that there are quite a few languages (actually a whole lot of languages) out there that I don't read at all.

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