Nick Knowles is a traveler and experience aficionado specializing in enjoying life's adventures without breaking the bank.


After a little hiatus from writing I’m back! and excited about my latest adventure….Fencing Lessons! Now when I think of fencing two things come to mind. Stuffy rich people…and of course the Princess Bride’s Inigo Montoya and the Man in Black…which is one of my favorite movies. So of course when one day it so [...]


Using Google Translate To Decipher Foreign Websites

Posted By Nick K. on January 31st, 2013


At some point when traveling abroad most travelers want to do some site seeing at famous touristy sites or museums.  Some are absolutely amazing and being touristy doesn’t mean it’s bad or overrated.  It may just be popular.  On the flip side though, popularity creates problems for those in a time crunch to visit and experience as much as possible whether traveling for a week or six months.  Long lines, wasted time, and that ever disappointing “sold out” sign plague all travelers.  So what is an aspiring vagabond to do? Use the internet of course.

Luckily, if you are an English speaker or one of the other major languages….most major sites, especially touristy ones, have created a version of their website in your language so you won’t have much trouble booking tickets, making reservations, etc.  But, that’s not always the case and if the website isn’t in your language….have no fear! you still may be able to book that museum tour early with the help of Google Translate.

Basically, the website can translate any language into any other language… which in itself is supremely helpful.  Like when I was in Switzerland and the Swiss police were trying to tell me that I blew out a tire when I spoke very little German.  You type what you want to say into the box, choose the languages,….and Presto! you have a pretty close translation in the other language.  And by “pretty close” I do mean it’s close, but not always a hundred percent…it is a translator and not all translations are perfect. Most of the time though it’s close enough to get by.

The second beauty of Google Translate is that it can translate whole websites. So say you come across a foreign website completely in another language with no “your language” version.  Instead of trying to type in every line….just copy the web address and paste it in the box.  Google will automatically try to detect the language in most cases and will generate a link of the translated website.

The translator does have a few downsides. Any text that is in the form of a picture image like a .jpg or .gif, or websites created with Flash will often not be able to be translated.  Overall, it is an amazing tool to help you communicate abroad and streamline your travel.  Or if you just want to order a beer in German and you happen to have the app…. which I highly recommend you download here: IOS or Android

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