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Wikipedia as a translator of nouns

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Most people don’t even know about it but right at the bottom of the left sidebar of every pedia there’s an in other languages section that turns out to be one of Wikipedia’s pearls.

It is wonderful for translating somewhat obscure nouns that you’d rarely find in a bilingual dictionary, like

And it proves a true lifesaver for translating media nouns you would never find in any bilingual dictionary — things like the Smurfs (Pitufos in Spanish), Woody Woodpecker (El Pájaro Loco in Spanish; literally, The Crazy Bird), Pinnocchio (Pinocho in Spanish), There’s Something About Mary (Mary à tout prix in French; literally, Mary at any price), Ghostbusters (Cazafantasmas in Spanish; literally, Ghosthunters), or Baywatch (Alerte à Malibu in French; literally, Alert in Malibu).

Feb 22, 2009 Update: The best implementation out there automating this idea is Ben Bofil’s recently updated Wikislate. Check it out!

Sep 3, 2009 Update: Another great, passive implementation is Koume_S’s Wikipedia polyglot dictionary Greasemonkey script, which will substitute the language list for the corresponding words. Beautiful!

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