Quick tip: Combine Google Translate and Twitter Lists

May update: Twitter has bought Tweetie for iphone and it now offers translation there and then. Awesome!

I am a big Japanofile and am slowly learning to speak Japanese, but of course the language, especially the written part, is a barrier for me to digest Japanese content.

The latest beta version of Google Chrome offers auto translate facility which quite successfully can translate between languages within same language group. For example it can successfully translates Danish to understandable English.

However, it is only semi-successful in translating full websites/chunks of content from Japanese to English, the two languages being further apart.

This is where Twitter comes in. With the 140 character limit it forces everyone to talk in short sentences. This makes it a lot easier for Google to translate the short Japanese sentences into English that makes sense.

The downside is that Google translates the whole page not individual paragraphs so for this to work I’ve set up a Twitter list with only the Japanese tweets I follow and it works like a charm.

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