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I'm looking for a website that easily allows translation in both directions. Specifically, I want a website that I can bring up when I am trying to comminicate with someone who speaks another language.

Most translation websites, you have one choice for source and destination... what I want is a site that translates in both directions, depending on which side you type in. So I can type something, and it translates it one way, then we can put the cursor in the other input box and it will translate what they type back to my language.

Current translation sites are annoying in this regard; they make you pick one direction for the translation, and when the person you are communicating with wants to reply, you have to change the language settings back and forth every line of the conversation. This is far from convenient or friendly.

Does anyone have any better ideas?

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Bing translation has an API, so it seems doable indeed. Do you want to integrate with a particular website (Google Chat, for instance), or is a brand new service OK? That would require both speakers to connect to the new website, obviously. –  nic Jul 19 '11 at 6:47
    
I was not looking at a chat service, but more something to work with when both people were at the same computer (hot-seat). –  Myrddin Emrys Jul 20 '11 at 17:11
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1 Answer

up vote 4 down vote accepted

Google Translate can do what you want, though perhaps not quite the way you envision it.

You have two options with it:

  1. You can keep two browser windows open, one for each translation direction.
  2. You can let Google Translate identify the input language:

Screenshot

Clicking that "English" link will swap the values in the From and To dropdowns and translate the text.

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Thank you, I did not know that Google Translate made it that easy to swap languages. That should probably suffice, as long as the phrase being translated is long enough to auto-identify its language. –  Myrddin Emrys Jul 20 '11 at 17:13
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