bab.la Now Translates Arabic, English German French and 14 Languages Via Twitter, Web and Mobile

15 Jun, 2010

Germany based language portal bab.la launched its Arabic version today. bab.la has free dictionaries for 28 languages, where users can use via the web and mobile but what is more interesting you can get any word translated by sending a tweet to @babladict.

To do that just enter the language abbreviation ( ex: En) space the abbreviation of the other langauge you want to have the world translated to ( ex: Ar, Fr, Gr ) then the word that you want it to be translated and hit send, in a few babladict will @ you with the translated word.

bab.la Twitter account says its supports 14 languages, I tested English to Arabic, French and German.

bab.la website seems also to offer more accurate English to Arabic translation than google translate
example the world startup goolge translated it into “بدء التشغيل” which means start running, while bab.la translation offered 2 Arabic words : البدء في التشغيل، ابتدائيّ the second one is the same as google but the first “new” or “initial” which is some how related to what the word startup means (I could not test german or french since I do not speak them). bab.la also offers Similar terms for the translated word in both Arabic and English. ( Bab.la failed to translate innovate to Arabic via its Twitter Interface)

Additionally on bab.la users can submit their own suggested translations. “This is just the beginning as our portal is wiki-based. Users can suggest their own translations or complete existing translations” explains Egyptian Susan Karmal, project manager of the Arabic version.

The site also offers other services such as teaching materials games and professional translations service.

Arabic English dictionary, translation and learning is nothing new, Google has Gtalk bot Sakhr has  web dictionary, iPhone app real time Arabic to english translator, Yahoo Maktoob iPhone app,  and Arabic Pod has interesting Arabic learning podcatst, with videos and other things that are added since our last review about them.

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  1. fatin khwarizmi  |  June 15th, 2010 at 7:49 PM #

    Great , Gaith , i did test so many dictionaries but most of them are making me laughing , a non sense translation , specially for some technical & compound words & jargon .
    i m going to try it right now & tell you about in an other comment :)

  2. fatin khwarizmi  |  June 15th, 2010 at 8:11 PM #

    i did test the word “franchise”,”hardware”,”email address” no answer is given , i m wondering how can i deal with a page full of technical words , if ex manager can not be translated :(

  3. Susan Kamal  |  June 16th, 2010 at 9:53 AM #

    Hi Fatin,

    I agree with you, that most of the dictionaries are quite inapt. There are some missing words in the bab.la dictionary, but now that’s the job that bab.la leaves to the users. I like the idea that it is wiki-based, because no matter how hard one works on building up a dictionary,and trust me, that is a lot of work, some words are still not going to be there.

    It would be great if you can use the suggest translation tool and add those words, so that the next person who looks them up, finds them. What do you think?:) Well, I hope none of the other readers haven’t added them already by now, hehe.

    I would love to get more feedback please!:)

  4. fatin khwarizmi  |  June 16th, 2010 at 2:50 PM #

    Thank you Susan i like your dynamic way on talking , it is exactly what i was planning to do , but i want to test a set of words in ones and add it to “suggest translation tool” & more, i did even request for a technical dictionary so that i will add the exact concrete words to help this site to rise , i hope everybody take just a minute from their precious time to enrich the content of this website , at least for the sake of our beautiful Arabic language :)

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