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November 2010 Toolkit: Quick Guide to Online Translators
8/26/2010
You don’t have to become fluent in your ancestor’s tongue. Instead, take advantage of affordable—if not free—online tools for getting quick and accurate translations.
Once you’ve successfully traced your immigrant ancestors back to their distant homelands, you may hit a new roadblock: foreign-language records and web resources. Thankfully, you don’t have to become fluent in your ancestor’s tongue. Instead, take advantage of affordable—if not free—online tools for getting quick and accurate translations. Many online translators, such as Google Translate and Bing Translator, are continually being upgraded and enhanced to encompass more languages and user-friendly features.
 
Keep in mind that translation tools are most effective at conveying the “essence” of a text, and are often stumped by the use of slang and jargon. If you encounter a nonsensical translation, try feeding the text or URL into another service, and compare the results. Below are five popular online translators that boast a variety of language and translation options. 
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