[HW 4.3b] Spreadsheets as translation engines

Part of learning a language involves organizing and categorizing large numbers of vocabulary words.  When I was a Middlebury Student, I remember using Excel to create lists of vocabulary words for my French class.   Here’s a workbook that I put together, including the VBA code, that reaches out to the web and pulls down the translations of words.  It uses the a web service called freetranslation.com.

translate1

Here’s the link to the file:  2012.1003.fxn.translate.

It’s also possible to do the same thing with Google Spreadsheets.  They make it easier, because all you have to do is call a function that they’ve already built for you.  It’s =GoogleTranslate(<Your Word>,<From Language>,<To Language>), so for example, =GoogleTranslate(“TIME”,”en”,”es”) would return TIEMPO.

Here’s an example:

Your assignment is to choose twenty five random words and five other languages that google supports. Translate the 25 words from English thru the other five languages and then back to English. For example, English to French, French to Korean, Korean to Spanish, Spanish to Japanese, Japanese to English. Of the 25 words, how many ended up the same as they started?

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