To write this site, have got inspired of another of my websites
which presents another set of free softwares made to handle emails.
This website whose first version dates from 2003, was modernized in
2010 with the use of PHP and CSS. However, I kept the possibility
to cut the pages in frames for the old browsers that support badly
layouts using CSS.
After a good first impression, Google has often disappointed me.
In theory, Google can translate more than fifty languages between
each other. In practice to get there, it uses the English language
as an intermediate language.
Given the large number of homonyms in the English language, words
that could be directly translated unambiguously between two other
languages are replaced by something else when returning from the
English language (eg the word "race" can be used for people running
together or for a ethnic group of people, and animals become all
Such as French, Spanish, Portuguese and Italian use the same sentence
structure, the translations between these 4 languages could be
word for word. But using the English, Google changes the order of
words in sentences (sometimes with errors changing the meaning), and
when returning to a Latin language, the words are not always put again
in the initial order.
Sometimes google skips sentences or parts of sentences from the
original text without a translation or replace an affirmation by a
negation or the contrary. In addition, the same words will not always
be translated the same according sentences (which is a major inconvenient
to translate a technical text).
However, to translate from French into or from English, or from less
common languages such as Scandinavian languages, Google stays my less
bad current choice.
From French to Spanish and Portuguese and to Esperanto
Apertium is a free software that first permitted to translate mainly to
or from Spanish and Catalan.
I use Apertium for my translations from French into Spanish, Portuguese
In 2008, the vocabulary of Apertium between Spanish ans Portuguese and
Esperanto was too limited. Since then, progress has been made and it is
also possible to translate directly from French to Esperanto with an
excellent vocabulary coverage.
In addition, Apertium can display the untranslated words preceded of a *
that permits to submit them to another online translator.
After starting to use online versions of Apertium, I translated to French a
large part of their wiki (about 130 pages) that permitted me to understand
how this software works, then to contribute to language pairs. Presently,
I rather user downloaded versions of Apertium which are newer than online
versions and can work on a computer without internet.
For other European languages : Systran
Until 2007, I used that online translator for most of my translations.
Systran allow the direct translation of German, English, Spanish,
Italian, Greek, Dutch and Portuguese from and to French.
The problem is that since the mid-2007, like many other online
translators who are the windows of commercial products, it does
translate as small text, which makes the translation of a document
much more tedious than with Google and Apertium. Fault of better, I
still use it for my translation into German, Italian and Dutch, and
to verify or supplement the result of other online translations.
Another translator for Esperanto : Traduku
To translate from English to Esperanto or the other way for a long
time only this online translator existed :
The analysis of grammatical sentences is rudimentary, and some words
in Esperanto are without their suffix, it is precisely the suffix
that distinguishes the verbs in different tenses, names in the
singular or plural, and adjectives. Forget the end of words is losing
a lot of interest in Esperanto.
Currently, the Esperanto translations performed by Apertium are really
How to write man pages
This document describes the organization of man pages, the text format
to use to write them, and some useful commands for viewing man pages
not yet installed.
A good basic document wich is however silent about the problems of
compatibility of accentual characters between the machines using
ISO-8859-15 and machines using UTF-8 .
This documentation is distributed in several languages.