How To Chat and Translate Conversations in Different Langauge


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Do you understand the words I’m speaking right now? If you don’t understand the English language, it will be difficult for you. There are a lot of languages here on Earth. What if you want to communicate with someone who doesn’t speak your language well? You want to chat with them in “real-time”, and you don’t want to have to use some translator that makes you copy and paste by the sentence or paragraph. What can you do?

Enter BabelWith.Me. Communicate with anyone, anywhere in up to 45 languages. BabelWith.me is a simple, free group chat that automatically translates your conversation as you type. Simply set up a chat and invite others using your unique URL. Choose the language you are speaking (and others choose theirs). The service will automatically translate everything others say in their own language into YOUR language!

BabelWith.me is a web-based tool, so you won’t need to install any software to use it. Each conversation can have up to 45 languages at once! Language is no longer a barrier! It’s easy to talk with anyone in the world, whether they march to your drum or not.

If you know of other excellent (and free!) services, let me know. I’d love to check them out.

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The State of the English Language Online

Someone by the name of Mr. Martinez sent me this email the other day. The message struck me as unique, given that it was rather well written (and I’m quite used to receiving incoherent blather). He believes that the English language is headed towards a meltdown…

The Internet has given me endless opportunities to contact people – to exchange ideas, opinions and concerns with them. Having English as my 3rd language (in Europe, we have to learn three languages in school) sometimes results in me accidently communicating in a malformed structure. This is, however, not much of a problem with other people – so long as I can form coherent sentences.

I have, during the last few years, encountered a distinctive (and obvious) degradation of the English language online among people that carry the English language as their mother tongue. It is sometimes mind-blowing how poorly people spell and form sentences – and this coming from people who have spoken and written English far longer than I have!

I have often found on forums and chat rooms people who were born in the U.S., raised in the U.S., but cannot (for the life of them) spell correctly, form sentences correctly, etc. Some of the American people I chat with have so many poorly formed sentences that you cannot possibly understand what it is they’re trying to say.

This all began, I believe, with the emergence of SMS – where you had a limited amount of characters and you had to compress words, use acronyms frequently, and find shortcuts to get your message through the very limited space you could use. This, I find inexcusable to use on the Internet, since there are really no restrictions on how many letters you are allowed to use in one message. [Editor’s note: Twitter may be the exception.]

I know that you studied English as well, and I notice that during your live feeds, you often correct people’s mistakes (which I think is the right thing to do) – and you always put emphasis on how important it is that people learn how to communicate clearly.

Do you believe there is a degradation of the English language online?

Do you believe that this degradation will get worse, or do you believe it’s just a phase? What is your opinion about “text speak” and “elite speak” – the kind of “speak” where you either leave out vowels completely, or substitute letters with numbers. Do you encourage spell checkers in browsers, or should people just learn not to butcher the English language when expressing themselves online?

I’m curious to hear your opinion from someone who has studied English as a Major in University – or just make another live feed of it so I can watch it on YouTube later.

Yes, it’s frustrating to see that few people seem to care about how they compose their digital presence anymore. You’d have been laughed off the newsgroups if you flew in there displaying nothing more than a molecule of what might be considered intelligence. Now, we’re face to face with the AOL’ification of the English language.

Let me put it to you this way: if you can’t write your way out of a coherent sentence, my respect level for you automatically drops by half. I don’t care if you’re seventeen or seventy – if you can use a keyboard, learn to use your language skills.

I’m not bothered by ‘1337’ speak (or random truncations), but I am bothered by poor punctuation, usage, grammar, and spelling. I’m not sure if it’s laziness or idiocy, but I just don’t think you have much of a future if you can’t string together more than two words.

The Chemistry of Texting English in High School

Justin McKey is a high school student who was handed an interesting assignment:

I was sitting in Chemistry class today and my teacher gave us the strangest assignment. She told us that we would be writing a summary about a paragraph in the Chemistry book, concerning Phospholipids. But here’s the twist. I would be required to write the summary in text message form (whatever that is) and to use abbreviation wherever possible. I then told her that some people use T-9 and/or predictive text input and don’t really abbreviate. She then told me that I should just use bad grammar and instead of writing, for example, “you” to write the letter u. And to use things like lol and cu8tr. I thought this might interest you since your involved in both English and technology. As you can imagine, this was a concern to me.

I totally agree and love the idea of integrating technology into the classroom, with use of Smart Boards and notebook computers. But of course there’s boundaries, such as using cell phones to text in class or cheat on a test. However, there seems to be an even more appalling feature. And that is poor or bad English. I know you’ve probably come across this since your emailed so frequently, and I’ve probably made several mistakes in this email as well. Now I’m not trying to say that texting inhibits degradation to a lower level (of) society. I think that proper English and technology can, and should become one.

According to my teacher the faculty had a meeting held by Sandy Garret, the State Superintendent, instructing them to incorporate text “lingo” into school curriculum. Am I the only person that is frightened by this?! It’s like the schools have given up and are accepting the false fact that students can’t speak/write in proper English. Think about our Constitution becoming a bunch of “lol’s” and “wtf george what’s wid the taxes”! Absolutely ridiculous.

Well, I do say “W-T-F” in conversation – but never “L-O-L.”</