Tuesday, July 07, 2009


Translation is a problem as old as the tower of Babylon. Yesterday I was looking for the translation of the dutch word "verband", as applied to wounds.
Now this word has many meanings, depending upon context. The oldest well known translator on the web, babelfish, took just 1 meaning, and translated it as "link".

This morning my google page advertised microsofts new translator, bing. Sadly, it also came up with just 1 translation, albeit a different one: "link". This also is a correct translation.

There is however a not superwuick, but rather efficient way to translate the word. I went to the dutch wikipedia, and looked up the word "verband". Wikipedia presented me with a page in which the various meanings were sorted out. The one i wanted was among them, and i selected that. In the left column was the list of articles in other languages on the same subject, and i picked english. This led me to "dressing", which upon seeing i identified as a corrcet trnaslation of what I had in mind.

Now the wiki guys are also working on a dictionary, called wiktionary, but this is far from complete compared with wikipedia. I much prefer the wikipedia route.

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