Saturday, March 27, 2010

Bing translator vs Google translator 2010 review

I ’m a big fan of online translators, not only because I’m interested in languages in general, but also because they make my work and blogging easier every day. Google Translator has been sitting on my Bookmarks Toolbar for a long time, as it is the translating service I use more often. However I recently found out that Microsoft’s Bing has launched its own translating tool, so I decided to give it a go. You have to try things before judging them, don’t you?

The first obvious difference between Google and Bing is precisely their translating powers: while the first supports more than 50 different languages, the latter features only 20. But the truth is that when Google Translator was launched it didn’t support that many languages either, so I wouldn’t be surprised to see Bing Translator adding more languages in the future.

One thing I love about Google Translator is its ability to detect source language automatically, so I don’t have to select it every time I use it. Luckily Bing Translator offers the same functionality. Also, besides direct translations, both Google and Bing offer some extra tools, such as a widget to offer a translated version of your website (both), a special utility to perform translated searches (Google only) or a translating bot to assist you in multi-language chats (Bing only).

Now, what about translations themselves? Honestly, I didn’t find much differences between them in my tests. I tried several language combinations with Spanish, English, German and Italian, using different texts and swapping the source and target languages in order to test the translating engines. The results were surprisingly similar, in both ways: when Google Translator obtains a good translation, so does Bing; and when Bing produces a completely absurd text, Google doesn’t succeed either.

Oddly enough, both seem to be better at translating into English: as soon as you pick another target language, results are a bit distorted. Both are also equally fast: you hardly have to wait for more than 5 seconds to have your text translated. The only difference I noticed, if any, is that Bing seems to be slightly better at certain expressions, providing you with the correct translation instead of a meaningless word-by-word equivalent.

Generally speaking though, both Google and Bing feature similarly powerful translating engines. So if you work with different languages on a daily basis and need to do frequent translations, I’d suggest you take advantage of both of them!


  1. Good article. I used the following phrase in Spanish, then converted it to English:
    "Abuela, ¿por qué tienes los ojos tan grandes?" Caperucita Roja preguntó. "Para que yo pueda ver mejor," Dijo la abuela. "¡Oh, abuelita, ¿por qué tienes la boca tan grande?" "Para poder comerte mejor!” Entonces, la abuela salta de la cama.

    The proper translation, in English, is:
    “Grandma, why do you have such big eyes?" Little Red Riding Hood asked. "So that I can see better." the grandma said. "Oh, Grandma, why do you have such a big mouth?" "So I can eat better!" Then, the grandma jumps out of the bed.

    I used this text for testing Google Translate, Bing Translator, Babylon Translator. Also, I use Client of Google Translate and Presidente Translator Tool (both use the Google Translate platform).

    Using Google and Bing, directly, yielded similar results, although Bing did a better job of translating the literal meaning of "Abuela". Babylon was surprisingly horrible for such a simple phrase.

    What really surprised me was when I used the translation tools (client for Google Translate and Presidente). Supposedly, they use the Google Translate platform, but the results were quite different from the results when directly input into Google Translate! The results through the translation tools were garbage. I've been using Client or Google Translate for over a year now, and this experiment has prompted me to immediately uninstall it. I can't imagine how foolish my words have looked to others all this time :-(

    Try this experiment on your own, with this simple phrase. It's fun, interesting and enlightening.

  2. Great, except for the fact that you plagiarised the entire article.