I found this short video which introduces the Google Transliteration tool when I was searching for a friend’s channel on YouTube. Meanwhile you should know that I love Google’s helpful features not only because they
are free. I love them because they make my “cyber life” a lot easier and they will do the same for you too –
if you know about them and of course, if you know how to use them.
Introducing: Google Transliteration Tool
What is transliteration?
Simply put, transliteration is converting a word letter by letter in another language. The interesting part is that
it’s possible to reconstruct the original spelling of unknown transliterated words, to “recognize” the original word. Mostly, the procedure itself can also be reversed.
To some extent, transliteration is related to translation and to transcription but they are not the same. To learn more please visit this site.
How does the Google Transliteration tool work?
We’ve already learned that transliteration is not translation or transcription, it’s actually converting a word’s letters one-to-one in another language. Let’s see now how the Google Transliteration tool works. Here is a screenshot I’ve made today:
showing the words
- food in Hindi letters
- smell in Hindi letters
- flower in Greek letters
- Acropolis in Greek letters
- literature in Russian letters
- poems in Russian letters
How to use this tool?
It’s simple: just type in the word in English or another language and the tool does the transliteration in a second. Google says that you can choose from about 80 languages – quite a lot, isn’t it? I’ve just found about 22 but if they say 80… for sure there are more to come.
What to use it for?
“In everyday use, words from languages using different characters are often transliterated phonetically to represent the sound (…). A common example of non-systematic transliteration is the phrase book used by visitors to countries with different languages, even if written in the same characters; for example Spanish “¿Hay alguien que hable inglés?” (“Is there someone [here] who speaks English?”) may be rendered as “ai AHL-gyehn keh AH-bleh een-GLEHS?”.”
Now, if you go to the Google Transliteration page you will see another tool ready for download:
Google Transliteration IME.
What is Google (Transliteration) IME?
Google IME is an editor and you can use it to type in a word or text in one of the 22 supported languages by using a roman keyboard, means latin characters. The editor will then convert the word to its native script.
Here is what Google says about the Transliteration IME:
“Google Transliteration IME will convert the word to its native script. Note that this is not the same
as translation — it is the sound of the words that is converted from one alphabet to the other, not their meaning. Converted content will always be in Unicode.”
Any idea what you could use these tools for? Hint: just think about Chinese, Hebrew, Serbian, etc.
And now, go and check out the Google Transliteration Tool and the Google Transliteration IME!