Archive for the ‘Online Tools’ Category
Knowing that no online translation tool is perfect, we hesitated a bit before writing this article. So we have performed tests to assess a number of them based on two well-known texts, written in plain but vivid language, and beyond the narrow confines of ordinary conversation. For translation from English to French, we used a sample of Winston Churchill’s speech, known as “We Shall Fight on the Beaches. » For the translation from French into English, it’s the first verse of the song “La Boheme” by Charles Aznavour that has served us as a model.
Here are the automatic translators that we found the most faithful. But keep in mind the Italian expression “traduttore, traditore” (translator, traitor) when you visit!
Google Translate is a free multilingual service that allows for instant translations. It can translate words, phrases, web pages and texts of up to several thousand words in any combination of supported languages. This service also allows you to hear the pronunciation of words, phrases and sentences.
Worldlingo is another multilingual translation tool. According to statistics, it has an accuracy rate of 70-75%, which is excellent for this type of software. There you can translate texts, documents, emails and websites. However, the free translation is limited to 500 words. On the other hand, it is possible to get unlimited translation and even the services of a professional translator for a fee from the site.
Finally, Reverso is the third translation tool that we propose today. It can check the spelling of text before doing the translation to increase its accuracy and it is possible to hear the source text. Although it also seems possible to listen to the translation, this could not be verified in our tests. The site also offers, for English and French languages, sections on grammar, conjugation, spell checking, general dictionaries and thesauri as well as several bilingual dictionaries.
French page including accented vowels : http://www.reverso.net/text_translation.aspx?lang=FR
English Page : http://www.reverso.net/text_translation.aspx?lang=EN
To experiment with different translation tools or to hear « La bohème » about which we talked about earlier, do not hesitate to consult the posts which will appear on the blog GoFrenchGo this week.
See you soon,
The Bon Français team
To follow the posts of the last week relating to vocabulary, we offer to you today three visual dictionaries.
The first, whose reputation is well established, is called simply Le Visuel. It is said that it “shows, says, defines and explains.” The online version allows you to navigate through 17 themes by clicking on the thumbnail or to use the search query to go directly to the section you want. This visual dictionary addresses of 800 subjects and includes 20,000 word definitions and realistic illustrations, all with audio files.
The second very interesting free resource is the Dictionnaire Visuel en ligne (visual dictionary online), a multilingual tool that translates the words of your choice with links to Google translation and to Babylon’s dictionary while showing a dozen images from Yahoo, so you can often see all the meanings of a word in a single glance.
To conclude, here is Le corps humain virtuel (the virtual human body), a product of QA International, as is Le Visuel. Clicking the following link will allow you to explore the human anatomy with images in three dimensions. The site offers 10 systems and tracts to discover and 2000 words pronounced and defined in the box that appears when you click on a specific area of the image.
Have a good week
The study of grammar is to language what the memorization of dates is to History, that is to say something often dull, yet inevitable. Recognizing this, we have chosen for you high quality grammars, pleasant to read and filled with exercises that allow you to monitor your understanding of the material as you go along. We sincerely hope that you enjoy exploring them.
Pomme, an initiative of the University of Alberta, is a completely free site dedicated to French grammar. It provides 400 rules and 400 exercises classified by degree of difficulty where 1 indicates the beginner level and 5 the most advanced one. ABC of French Grammar is an English simplified version of French grammar and can be found in the index. The Conjugaison component provides access to the conjugation of all verbs in all tenses. A registrant will receive an individualized program of rules and exercises through the online diagnostic test. Learners can even take personal notes with the notebook available online. http://www.pomme.ualberta.ca/pomme/
Both French grammars of Glenunga International High School in Australia are written in English and also include exercises. The first is designed for learners of all levels. The topics are: verbs, nouns and articles, prepositions, adjectives, pronouns, adverbs, days, months, seasons and weather as well as numbers, time and quantity. http://www.gihs.sa.edu.au/loteweb/Grammar/
The second link takes you to an advanced grammar about verbs, adjectives, problem words and pronouns:
See you soon,
Your Bon Français Team
Portals or directories, each of the several sites that we present today are worth a long detour. Whether you are looking for a complete course or just want to check a specific point of grammar, you will surely find what you need there.
Charity begins at home, the proverb goes. Well, we start our nomenclature with our own FSLall directory, searchable in English as well as in French. It includes over 1400 free online resources for French learning and teaching, carefully divided by levels and categories. One of these categories is devoted to business French and is designed specifically for those who must write or speak French at work. http://www.fslall.com/
Le point du FLE: This site lists and organizes high-quality free resources, relevant and useful in the fields of French as a second, foreign or native language. Its main sections are: activities, grammar, tenses of the indicative and other moods, French for specific audiences, general resources and a special section for teachers. It offers French dictionaries, audio exercises, humor, vocabulary, FFL courses online and news. There are also writing tips, software downloads, and resources for French teaching. For all levels. http://www.lepointdufle.net/
ClicNet is dedicated to French as a second or foreign language. Although this site is not regularly updated anymore, it remains of high value. The many educational resources there are directly usable in a French course and are classified by subjects. Each one shows a description and the language level required. (Level 1 = beginners and false beginners; Level 2 = intermediate and advanced ; Level 3 = high advanced). http://clicnet.swarthmore.edu/fle.html
In conclusion, we would be remiss to ignore the excellent Français Facile website which contains thousands of French resources and of which we made an extensive reference to in our last article.
The Bon Français team
Speech synthesis is a technique to deliver a written text by computerized voice. This technique is used particularly by and for the visually impaired, in industry (think of automated interactive messaging, for example) as well as in the multimedia field.
In our opinion, speech synthesis is also of considerable interest in a second or a foreign language learning. It makes it indeed possible to hear the exact pronunciation of a word or a text chosen by the learner himself. Therefore, we have selected three websites that let you type a word or a short text to hear its correct French pronunciation.
Acapela-group.com : You will find on this website a multilingual demo to convert written words and sentences into spoken speech. Simply enter a text up to a maximum of 200 characters, including spaces, and then choose a male or female voice, French or Canadian to listen to an audio rendition of this text.
Wizzard Software.com : This site also offers a speech synthesis multilingual demo to convert written text into a high-quality audio reading. Enter a text of your choice up to a maximum of 255 characters, choose a male or female voice with a French or a Canadian accent and listen to the reading. http://wizzardsoftware.com/att_NV_demo.php
Oddcast.com : This last site offers a Text-to-Speech multilingual demo allowing to hear what you write. Enter a word or a short text up to 150 characters, then choose a male or female voice, French or Canadian and see an avatar read it without an accent. It is even possible for you to create your own avatar on the site!
Three Virtual French Keyboards to Learn to Write With Accents
To write correctly in French, you necessarily have to use accent marks. Basically, the accents – acute accent (´), grave accent (`), circumflex accent (ˆ) – the umlaut (¨) and the cedilla (ç) – play two roles in French: they change the pronunciation of the letter they mark and indicate a difference between words which would otherwise be identical, for example: pêcheur (one that fishes) and pécheur (one who commits a sin).
This week we offer you three links to virtual keyboards that allow you to write correctly in French.
Les-Claviers.com: Here is a site that offers virtual keyboards for many languages, allowing access to special characters, accents, and symbols specific to each. You’ll find also on this page a currency symbols keyboard, a mathematics keyboard, and a typographical keyboard including signs such as the ampersand (&) and the at symbol (@). Useful! http://www.les-claviers.com/
Gate2home.com : The French keyboard which is on this site is an excellent emulator that will allow you to type in French from anywhere in the world. This site also contains tabs to write and send an email directly in French, to search the French versions of Google and Wikipedia, as well as to access the multilingual translator Babylon. http://www.gate2home.com/?language=fr&lay=4&sec=2
Incks.com : This site offers virtual keyboards in multiple languages and several different alphabets. The French virtual keyboard has typographical signs such as currencies, mathematical operations and exponents. The site also allows the registration of a document as a text file and viewing, editing and printing your text. http://www.incks.com/en/french.html
Spelling, syntax, vocabulary, and the use of the words : the three following sites will help you to write impeccable French, whether to translate or to compose directly in Molière’s language.
Office québécois de la langue française
The home page of the Office québécois de la langue française (Quebec’s Office for the French language) contains many resources including Le grand dictionnaire terminologique (The Large Terminological Dictionary), a repository of linguistic troubleshooting help, a virtual library, and loads of interesting links. You will also find a section of language games and many specialized or bilingual glossaries. http://www.oqlf.gouv.qc.ca/
Termium Plus is a bilingual English-French website containing a Spanish section as well. It is the Government of Canada’s terminology and linguistic data bank specialized in translation and interpreting. This site’s French section contains among other things Les clefs du français pratique (The Keys to Practical French), ConjugArt (The Art of Conjugation), an analogical dictionary to find French equivalents of hard to translate English terms, and an invaluable co-occurrences dictionary giving the list of adjectives and verbs suitable for a given noun. http://www.termium.com/
This web site provides a spellchecker. Enter a word as you pronounce it, without accents or hyphen to get its correction and a comprehensive definition with its etymology and history, its pronunciation and even statistics of its use. http://atilf.atilf.fr/tlf.htm
Have a good week !
How can you find your way through the host of online translation tools? There are hundreds of them in cyberspace. How can one appraise their value? How can one quickly compare and evaluate them?
When it comes to English-French translation we think that we have found the solution for you.
http://www.stars21.com/translator/english_to_french.html makes it possible for you to choose from eleven different English-French translation resources. It then becomes easy for you to compare results and adopt the tool that more closely meet your needs.
In other daily life situations, when you are away from your computer, always carry a good bilingual pocket dictionary with you to seize every opportunity to enrich your French vocabulary. If you do not have one, you are welcome to visit our online store to get one of the best ones at the best price!
Learning English as a second or foreign language online will enable you to use tools that work at the speed of light. Among the all-time favourites you will inevitably find multilingual translation resources.
Whether you prefer Google’s translation tool, http://www.google.com/language_tools?hl=EN , Yahoo’s one http://babelfish.yahoo.com/ or some other free online resources such as http://www.freetranslation.com/ , what matters the most is that you add your preferred tool to your browser’s favourite list or toolbar to make sure that you have it handy whenever you need it.
However, remember to be careful when using online translation devices. It’s not that that they are of poor quality, but rather that these electronic translators have not yet been perfected to the level at which they can replace the thinking capabilities of a human being who truly understands the meaning of a message in context, which is essential to the accuracy of any translation. So while keeping one or more of these useful tools at hand, also make sure to always proofread electronically translated text before using it in any document. A machine cannot replace a human translator.
Dictionaries of synonyms also called thesauruses or thesauri are excellent tools for intermediate or advanced learners who want to better their French vocabulary or the quality of their writing in that second or foreign language.
Here are a few suggestions for good online dictionaries of synonyms:
And remember that your comments and suggestions are always welcome.