Automating Gender w/ Google Translate

Hi, I just found an interesting trick: I was creating the flashcards for French from the 625-Word-List. I copied the words in the "Materials" section with my mouse and pasted in Google Translate. As the list was comma-separated Google Translate not only translated the words, but also added the proper article: glass, metal, plastic, wood, stone, diamond, clay, dust, gold, copper, silver, material became to le verre, le métal, le plastique, le bois, la pierre, le diamant, l'argile, la poussière, l'or, le cuivre, l'argent, la matière Very handy, isn't it?

* Originally posted by BenFeldman.

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  • Unfortunately, Google Translate seems to be very picky about the formatting. For the lists it either does not add the article at all or only for some words. :-(

    * Originally posted by BenFeldman.
  • Sorry, for the second reply to my own article, but I don't seem to be able to edit or delete them.

    However, I found a solution:

    1. Copy the section you want to be translated from the 625-word-list. For example:

    egg, cheese, bread, soup, cake, chicken, pork, beef, apple, banana, orange, lemon, corn,
    rice, oil, seed, knife, spoon, fork, plate, cup, breakfast, lunch, dinner, sugar, salt, bottle, food

    2. Then go to Google Docs (Excel should also work) and paste your clipboard with the aforementioned words into a cell. Google Docs will save every word (incl. the comma) in a separate cell in horizontal order and probably over more than one row. With every row copy the cells and in the same worksheet now go to free cell and Edit->Insert->Transpose. The words will now be saved vertically. Repeat until all words are stored vertically.

    3. Go to the first word and highlight the next free cell (lets call it A2) on the right and enter

    ="the "&A1

    and then drag down with your mouse until all words on the right now have a "the" in front. Note that you have to A1 to the appropriate cell reference.

    4. Copy all words of this new row to your clipboard and paste it in Google Translate and let it translate them. Now you have all words translated with the proper article in your target language.

    5. Now for the plural. Go to the next row and the first word with "the" in front and enter the following


    Drag down the mouse to copy this formula until you have reached the last word. Now you have (most likely) all plural forms of the word. Copy these words and past them in Google Translate and you have the plural forms in your target language as well.

    At least this works with English to French it seems.

    the clocks
    the lamps
    the fans
    the cells
    the phones
    the networks
    the computers
    the programs
    the laptops
    the screens
    the cameras
    the televisions
    the radios


    les horloges
    les lampes
    les fans
    les téléphones
    les réseaux
    les ordinateurs
    les programmes
    les ordinateurs portables
    les écrans
    les caméras
    les téléviseurs
    les radios

    Not sure why "cellules" has no article, though.

    * Originally posted by BenFeldman.
  • some problems: verbs should have "to" rather than "the", adjectives shouldn't have "the" (for some languages). Even then, you may have problems: e.g. google translates pull and draw into French as tirer, which is good for pull but draw should probably be dessiner. There are several ambiguities like that (for various languages) so don't trust google translate too much. It will save you time but look up in a real dictionary that makes the distinctions.
    Here's a list (hopefully corrected as much as possible for ambiguities):
    the actor
    the clay
    the disease
    the adjective
    blind (adjective)
    clean (adjective)
    the doctor
    the adult
    the blood
    to clean (verb)
    the dog
    the afternoon
    the clock
    the dollar
    the air
    the boat
    to close (verb)
    the door
    the airport
    the body
    the clothing
    the dot
    the alive
    the bone
    the club (the location)
    the animal
    the book
    the coat (noun)
    to draw (verb)
    the apartment
    the bottle
    the coffee
    the dream (noun)
    the apple
    the bottom
    the dress (noun)
    the box (noun)
    the color (noun)
    to drink (verb)
    the arm
    the boy
    the computer
    to drive (verb)
    the army
    the brain
    the consonant
    the drug (noun)
    the art
    the bread
    the contract (noun)
    the dry
    the artist
    to break (verb)
    to cook (verb)
    the dust (noun)
    the attack (noun)
    the breakfast
    cool (adjective)
    the ear
    the August
    the bridge (noun)
    the copper
    the Earth
    the author (noun)
    the brother
    the corn
    the east
    the baby
    the corner (noun)
    to eat (verb)
    the back (body)
    to build (verb)
    to count (verb)
    the edge
    back (direction)
    the building
    the country (USA, Spain)
    the egg
    to burn (verb)
    the court
    the bag (noun)
    the bus
    the cow
    the ball
    to buy (verb)
    the crowd (noun)
    the banana
    the cake
    to cry (verb)
    the election
    the band (music)
    to call (verb)
    the cup
    the electronics
    the bank
    the camera
    the curved
    the eleven
    the bar (location)
    the camp (noun)
    to cut (verb)
    the energy
    the bathroom
    the car
    to dance (verb)
    the engine
    the beach
    the card
    the dark
    the evening
    the beard
    to carry (verb)
    the date (May 7)
    the exercise (noun)
    to beat (verb)
    the cat
    the daughter
    to catch (verb)
    the day
    to explode (verb)
    the bed
    the ceiling
    the eye (noun)
    the bedroom
    the cell phone
    the face (noun)
    the beef
    the centimeter
    the death
    the fall (season)
    the beer
    the chair (noun)
    the December
    to fall (verb)
    to bend (verb)
    the family
    the beverage
    the cheese
    the diamond
    the bicycle
    the chicken
    to die (verb)
    the fan (electric)
    the child
    to dig (verb)
    the fan (sport)
    the bill (noun)
    the church
    the dinner
    the farm (noun)
    the circle (noun)
    the direction
    the bird
    the city
    the father
    the hair
    the kitchen
    the million
    to feed (verb)
    the half
    the knee
    the minute
    the female
    the hand
    the knife
    to mix/stir (verb)
    to hang (verb)
    the lake
    the Monday
    the fifth (5th)
    the lamp
    the money
    the laptop
    the month
    to fight (verb)
    the hat
    to laugh (verb)
    the moon
    to find (verb)
    the lawyer
    the morning
    the finger
    the head
    the leaf
    the mother
    the fire (noun)
    to learn (verb)
    the mountain
    the first (1st)
    to hear (a sound)
    the left (direction)
    the mouse
    the fish (noun)
    the heart
    the leg
    the mouth
    the heat (noun)
    the lemon
    the movie
    flat (adjective)
    the heaven
    the letter
    the murder (noun)
    the floor
    the library
    the music
    the flower
    the hell
    to lie down (verb)
    to fly (verb)
    to lift (verb)
    the nature
    to follow (verb)
    the hill
    light (/dark)
    the neck
    the food
    the hole
    light (/heavy)
    the needle
    the foot (body part)
    the horse
    the light (noun)
    the neighbor
    the foot (measurement)
    the hospital
    the lip
    the network
    the forest
    to listen (music) (verb)
    the fork
    the hotel
    the location
    the newspaper
    the hour
    the lock (noun)
    the house
    the long
    the night
    the human
    fourth (4th)
    to lose (verb)
    the Friday
    the husband
    the friend
    to love (verb)
    the ice
    the north
    the game
    the image
    the lunch
    the nose
    the garden
    the inch
    the magazine
    the note (on paper)
    the gasoline
    the injury
    the male
    the gift
    the inside
    the man
    the girl
    the instrument (musical)
    the manager
    the number
    the glass
    the island
    the map
    the ocean
    to go (verb)
    the God
    the market
    the office
    the gold
    the job
    the marriage
    the oil
    the good
    the juice
    to marry (verb)
    old (/new)
    the grandfather
    the material
    old (/young)
    the grandmother
    to jump (verb)
    the grass
    the June
    to open (verb)
    the key
    the medicine
    orange (color)
    to kill (verb)
    to melt (verb)
    the orange (food)
    the ground
    the kilogram
    the metal
    the outside
    to grow (verb)
    the king
    the meter
    the page
    the gun
    to kiss (verb)
    the milk
    the pain
    the paint
    the rice
    the six
    the tea
    the pants
    to teach (verb)
    the paper
    right (direction)
    the teacher
    the parent
    the ring
    the skin
    the team
    the park (location)
    the river
    the skirt
    the tear (drop)
    to pass (verb)
    the roof
    the sky
    the technology
    the patient (noun)
    the room (in a house)
    to sleep (verb)
    the telephone
    the pattern
    the root
    the slow
    the television
    to pay (verb)
    the run (verb)
    the temperature
    the peace
    the sad
    to smell (verb)
    the pen
    the salt
    to smile (verb)
    the theater
    the pencil
    the sand
    the snow (noun)
    the person
    the soap
    the photograph
    the school
    the piece
    the science
    the soil/earth
    to think (verb)
    the pig
    the screen
    the soldier
    third (3rd)
    the sea
    the son
    the plane
    the season
    the song
    the thirty
    the plant (noun)
    second (2nd)
    the sound
    the plastic
    the second (time)
    the soup
    the plate
    the secretary
    to throw (verb)
    to play (verb)
    to see (a bird)
    the space (outer space)
    the player
    the seed
    to speak/say (verb)
    the ticket (train)
    the pocket
    to sell (verb)
    the spoon
    the tight
    the poison (noun)
    the sport
    the time (noun)
    the police
    the spring (season)
    the tire (of a car)
    the pool
    the square
    the toe
    the stain
    the tongue
    the pork
    the sex (gender)
    to stand (verb)
    the tool
    the pound (weight)
    the sex (the act)
    the star
    the tooth
    to pray (verb)
    to shake (verb)
    the stone
    the top
    the president
    the shallow
    to stop (verb)
    to touch (verb)
    the price
    the store/shop
    the town
    the priest
    the ship
    the straight
    the train (noun)
    the prison
    the shirt
    the street/road
    the train station
    the program (computer)
    the shoes
    the transportation
    to pull (verb)
    to shoot (a gun)
    the student
    the tree
    to push (verb)
    short (long)
    the sugar
    the truck
    the queen
    short (vs. tall)
    the suit (noun)
    the shoulder
    the summer
    to turn (verb)
    the race (ethnicity)
    the sun
    the race (sport)
    the side
    the radio
    the sign (noun)
    the sweat (noun)
    twenty-one (etc.)
    the rain (noun)
    to sign (verb)
    to swim (verb)
    the T-shirt
    the ugly
    the religion
    to sing (verb)
    the table
    the university
    the reporter
    the sister
    the restaurant
    to sit (verb)
    to taste (verb)
    the valley
    the verb
    to watch (TV) (verb)
    wet (adj.)
    the wood
    the victim
    the water (noun)
    the white
    to work (verb)
    the voice (noun)
    the wave (ocean)
    the world
    the vowel
    the wife
    to write (verb)
    the waiter
    to win (verb)
    the yard
    to wake up (verb)
    to wear (verb)
    the wind (noun)
    the year
    to walk (verb)
    the wedding
    the window
    the yellow
    the wall
    the Wednesday
    the wine
    the war
    the week
    the wing
    you (singular/plural)
    warm (adjective)
    the weight
    the winter
    the young
    to wash (verb)
    the west
    the woman
    the zero

    * Originally posted by James.
  • Thanks, James! That list should save folks some time. The only thing I'd warn about is that, as you said, Google Translate can kind of suck. I'd highly recommend using a Lonely Planet Phrasebook or the equivalent, sit down with the alphabetical list, and translate it that way. It shouldn't take that long at all, and you'll get much better translations, which should save you time in the long run. It's kind of a pain when you've spent a bunch of time memorizing a word, which you find out months later is, in fact, the WRONG word. :P

    * Originally posted by Gabriel Wyner.
  • Just as an FYI, both Google Translate and Lonely Planet leave a lot to be desired for some languages.

    In the case of Hindi, LP omits both gender and, even worse, many extremely crucial consonant distinctions which are difficult for English speakers but fundamental to the language. It's a big disappointment as I've been a fan of Lonely Planet phrasebooks until now.

    And Google Translate for Hindi pretty much gives up on gender and number agreement.

    There are some online dictionaries for Hindi which seem acceptable, if rudimentary.

    Another interesting peculiarity about online tools for Hindi is that Google Images gives much weaker results for Hindi than for western languages. Half the time a search returns only images of movies stars and politicians. I'm having better luck entering " India." My guess is that the heavy use of English in India has starved Google for content.

    * Originally posted by pzriddle.
  • pzriddle, I just noticed your comments about the difficulty of finding good images for Hindi sometimes without resorting to English searches and I agree completely.

    I didn't think of it until after I had collected most of my words and genders, but in Hindi, it looks like you could get the genders from Google translate by putting the word "his" or "her" in front of each English noun. Since as you know, in Hindi, the gender of his/her (which is the same word) depends on the gender of the thing possessed. Although some reason, Google turns some of the nouns to plural, "his face" turns into "his faces" in Hindi. To avoid this, using "his one" in front of the noun ("his one face") seems to work for keeping it singular.

    I also agree with Gabe and James that the suckage is strong with Google translate sometimes, but it is a nice starting point and this thread was the only place I could find the list of words in a plain text file so I could begin to collect them. For Hindi I used the Essential Hindi dictionary (Amazon has been mistakenly pricing it for $78 for a little while, I bought it from them for $13.60) which has just about all the words of the 625 (it excludes mainly those where speakers would probably just use the English word)

    * Originally posted by daddylangl.
  • @daddylangl, thanks for the tip! I've set my personal Hindi project aside for the moment but I'm glad to see other people carrying the torch...

    * Originally posted by pzriddle.

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