Translating emails easily in Outlook

I have been working with SSW’s Beijing office for over 12 months now. One common occurrence is that I am CC’d on emails to our Chinese customers, but unfortunately I can’t read Chinese. It is very useful for me to quickly read these emails so I have an idea of what correspondence is going on.

The easiest way I have found to keep myself in the loop and check in on threads periodically is by adding a button to the Outlook ribbon bar to quickly translate the current document for me. Here is an example of how to set it up and translate an email.

Step 1: Customise the ribbon
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Step 2: Select the Home tab and create a new group. Call it Translation, then add “Translate Document”. Press OK to save it
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Step 3: You will now see the translate button in the ribbon, press it to set up what language it should translate from and to.
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It will then warn you that your email will be sent over the internet to the translation service
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That is it. Now in your ribbon bar you will see your button ready to use.
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Clicking it will open up a browser with your document translated
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Google translation application

A problem with having an international g/f is that her parents can’t speak english.
She was chatting her parents on MSN and i decided that I would have a go and see how the google translator holds up
(yes there is the older Altavista babel-fish, but I had trouble with it not being able to translate a LOT of words)

I could easily translate what her mother said to me into English. However, I was very affraid that what I would translate into Chinese for her would turn out very wrong. So i got into the habit of translating English into Chinese. Copying the translated chinese, and pasting it back into Google translate to translate it BACK into english. While this isn’t foolproof, I figured it would at least offer some additional security that I don’t accidentally call her mother a 3-eyed fish.

The problem with this approach is that it is VERY time consuming, if the translation wasn’t great, I would have to repeat the process using less ambiguous words which could take many cycles. I decided to see if I could create an application that could do this for me, unfortunately the Google api doesn’t expose the translation service yet.
However I found a ‘hack’ to do a HTML scrape and pull the results out
http://blogs.msdn.com/shahpiyush/archive/2007/06/09/3188246.aspx
now I’ve got a simple WPF app that can quickly translate, and show me the translation back so i can quickly tweak what I say to her mother.
I’ve only had one or two “huh, what you said makes no sense” moments 😉

By David Burela

Blogged with Flock

Strange characters when running chinese applications in Vista

My girlfriend is from Shanghai and loves to use her chinese apps:
QQ, popkart, some online DDR ripoff.

The only problem is that when we run the setup, or once in the app, all the characters are really strange, random circles and squiggles, not Chinese characters at all.
The solution thanks to
http://www.vistax64.com/vista-general/80694-chinese-application-not-showing-chinese-characters.html

is to change the system locale to Chinese.

You do this by going:
Control panel, regional settings.
Administrative tab
then the “Change system Locale” button. Change it to the appropriate setting (i chose Chinese PRC)

I’ve had no problems with my system after running like this for the last 2 months. All my games and applications still work fine and are displayed in english, but it is now able to display the correct chinese characters when requested.
(the only problem i have had are with Nvidia and intel driver installs, they detect the langauge setting and display the setup apps in chinese instead of English 😉

By David Burela

Blogged with Flock