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Discover the Best Online Translation Tools for Learning German

From Daniela, published on 16/08/2017 Blog > Languages > German > What are the Best Translators to Learn German Online?

It is a known fact that translating to and from German is not an easy task, whether it is a short sentence or a long paragraph, you will always be faced with some bumps along the way. However, fortunately, with the help of the advancement in technology’s online translation tools for learning German, the translation process is becoming increasingly easier.  

What are the benefits of online translation tools? 

  1. Time saver: you can use an online tool to generate the translation in less than a second! It may not be precise, but you’ll understand the gist of the text.
  2. Easy to use: for many of the of online translation tools, the websites are very straightforward to use.
  3. Many languages available: nowadays, an increasing number of languages are being added to translation websites. The majority are free!

Learn German with Google Translate

Everyone knows Google Translate, it’s everyone’s “go to translation tool”. But, how correct is it? Well, evidently with globalisation, technology is becoming increasingly advanced. So, nowadays Google Translate is a lot more efficient and accurate than other online translation tools for learning out there.

How does it work? 

You simply type in the word or phrase you wish to translate into or from German, in the left box, it then generates a non-human translation, in the right box.

For example, here is an English phrase with its German translation:

Google translate is great for learning German Improve your knowledge in German and use Google Translate (Source: www.translate.google.com)

This translation is precise. 

On the other hand, translating long sentences with more confusing meanings seem to be a struggle for Google Translate. It is completely unable to generate natural translations as Google Translate uses non-human translations. Non-human translator tools are not that reliable as they are unable to generate the precise meaning.

But, Google Translate is perfect if you’re looking to generate a quick and short translation into and from German.

And, the best part is: it’s free! 

German Lessons with Linguee

Linguee has been available online since 2007 and it is now available for download on iOS and Android. You can translate to and from many languages, including German, obviously! And, it’s completely free! 

Linguee is used a lot amongst translation students and professional translators. 

How does it work? 

Linguee is one of the most unique translation tools. It uses a search engine that allows access to hundreds of translated source texts, also known as ‘sentence pairs’. It searches the web to find bilingual texts, words, and expressions. It also takes into consideration the context and produces a large selection of possible translation choices.

It is a lot more precise than Google Translate as it produces translations already completed by a native speaker of the target language, so it is basically a translation memory.

You insert the short phrase or expression you wish to translate and Linguee comes up with a variety of translations.

  • It is a lot more accurate than Google Translate and Bing,
  • The best thing about Linguee is the translations are all natural human translations,
  • It produces excellent vocabulary translations and definitions.

Like Google Translate, Linguee is available to download on iOS or Android and it's free!  Download Linguee onto your smart phone to receive instant natural translations (Source: www.linguee.com)

You simply type in the short phrase or expression you wish to translate and Linguee generates many different translations. The highlighted part in yellow is the translation:

Linguee is great for learning German As you can see, Linguee has generated a variety of possible translations (Source: www.linguee.com)

However, Linguee only allows you to add a maximum of 12 words into the search bar, showing that you are unable to translate a long bulk of sentences. Linguee is only suitable for short phrases and expressions.

On the other hand, Linguee is great for translating words. The search engine generates a variety of synonyms of the vocabulary word and it also gives the “rarer words“. In this case, we have used the word “allow” and there are a whopping 14 translations! This search engine is a great substitute for a bilingual dictionary! So, throw away your dictionaries!

Linguee is great to learn German vocabulary Use Linguee to generate many German vocabulary translations (Source: www.linguee.com)

So, if you’re eager to widen your vocabulary in German, then use Linguee and translate to and from German!

Systran, your New German Tutor

Systran offers a translation software in 15 different languages, of course including German.

This website is used a lot amongst translation students because of its precision. However, when it comes to translating German expressions and sayings, Systran is not that great, unlike Linguee.

Use systran to learn German fast Translating expressions is not easy for Systran (Source: www.systran.com)

S0, Systran precisely translated the first sentence. But, it all went downhill in the next couple of phrases. With Systran, we face the same problem as we face with Google Translate, it cannot understand the meaning of the sentence so it is unable to corectly translate expressions into German.

Systran also includes a built-in business and computer science dictionary. You also have the option of adding your own dictionary. For example, Systran may not recognise the word “WhatsApp” , so you can add it to your dictionary for it to recognise it in the future.

Additionally, Systran has a dictionary feature, where you can search for any definition of any word.

Why not hire a German tutor for private learning.

Learn German with Freetranslations.org

Freetranslations.org was launched in 2012 and has already made a great impact as an online translation tool. They focus on translations to do with medicine, business, and marketing. 

Their web page allows you to insert a sentence or phrase you wish to translate to or from German, this is rather basic but it is free! Unfortunately, like Google Translate, they cannot guarantee 100% accuracy, as it is not a human translation tool. It manages to produce the idea of the sentence but is unable to gauge the correct meaning.

You also have the option of hearing the correct pronunciation, by clicking the speaker icon. This way, you can play it over and over again until you hear the correct pronunciation and you can compare it with your own.

Freetranslations.org also lets you save the translation by clicking the blue save icon. You can also discard of the translation if you wish to start over. So, as you can see, this website is extremely easy to navigate around.

Another free feature that freetranslations has is the following. The website has a variety of translated commonly used phrases, and these are all accurate as they have already been translated by human translators!

You can either choose from “Basic Expressions, Making Friends, Time Expressions, and Shopping” and more. This is such a great feature as it can truly prepare you for visiting Germany.

So, you can definitely learn German fast with the help of these expressions: 

Have a look at this website to generate natural translations This website is great for translating commonly used phrases to German 

So far, this is free. However, if you wish to learn German fast, you can opt to pay for a few extras and you can obtain a professional translation service. The translations are completed by German native speakers and they can guarantee the translation will be 100% precise and accurate.

Conclusion

It is essential to mention that online translation websites are not always precise, sometimes they can be completely and utterly incomprehensible! These online tools are capable of sticking words together and finding a translation for the single word, but most of them (apart from Linguee) are completely incapable of understanding the context of the phrase, which makes it difficult to produce a natural and correct translation.

On the other hand, as we have seen, online translators can at times be a life saver. It is not always great to spend your time flicking through many bilingual dictionaries with the aim of translating a string of words. Afterall, time is money. But, nowadays, these online translation tools can do the trick for you quickly!

Overall, Linguee is probably the best online translator if you need to translate short phrases, expressions, and vocabulary free of charge. Unlike the other online translation tools we have seen, Linguee offers human and natural translations, so you’ll always obtain the right answer.

If you’re a German translation student or a professional translator, Linguee is the website for you! 

Translation tools are becoming increasingly better Will technology overtake human translators one day? Source Via Visual Hunt

However, online translation websites are not yet suitable for translating medical sentences and aviation manuals, as these require 100% precision, which cannot be promised by any of these translation tools.

Technology is overtaking the face of the earth, let alone translation tools!

Discover the best apps for learning German and podcasts you can use to improve your German skills.

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