Nowadays, anyone who wants to translate an item of vocabulary into
Spanish, French, German or Portuguese consults an online dictionary. But
how are you supposed to find the right translation for compound
expressions such as “strong evidence”, “strong arms”, “strong
relationship” or “strong opinion”? Phrases like this crop up in every
text – and the limitations of the regular online dictionaries soon
But straightforward assistance is now on hand in the form of a new, free
web service called Linguee.com which permits you to sift through
enormous volumes of translated texts for words and word combinations.
According to its operators, Linguee.com has access to around a thousand
times more textual material translated by human linguists than any
previous online dictionary.
As of today, this service is now available for the language pairs
Spanish-English, French-English and Portuguese-English. The
German-English version has already been well established for the past
twelve months and handles more than 500,000 searches each day.
Novel approach: Finding terms within the context of whole sentences
The revolutionary feature of Linguee is that you search texts that have
been produced by a human translator and posted on the internet. In this
way, the user gets a broad yet detailed overview of how vocabulary is
used in context. Linguee’s two founders, Gereon Frahling and Leonard
Fink, have developed a technology that is currently unmatched. A web
crawler is constantly analysing the internet, looking out for new
multilingual pages. In this way, Linguee enables the user to track down
extremely rare technical terminology.
Clear presentation: Items sensibly arranged and smart provision for
The Linguee user can see from a pie chart how the translations on offer
compare for frequency of usage. Examples of each term quoted in complete
sentences show which translation is used in which context. Furthermore,
the user can click on a source link and the relevant web page will open
up showing the entire surrounding context.
Global reach: Covering the major world languages
The principle can be transferred to any language. “Linguee is first and
foremost a ‘technology’. It is therefore a natural step to extend this
service to a global market,” says Gereon Frahling. Other languages in
the pipeline include Italian, Chinese, Arabic and Russian.