Google Wizards strike again

Faced with Google’s awesomeness, I usually assume a stance of quiet wonder. But at the moment I can’t restrain my enthusiasm about the fact that Google Translate provides standard romanization (pinyin) for Chinese characters now. Yay!

I just discovered this; I wonder how long has this been the case?

Of course realistically this doesn’t effect my life much at all, but, that said, it does make things slightly easier! See, like all online translation tools, Google Translate is great at translating individual words but falls short when you plug in entire phrases; often you will end up with words that make sense by themselves but become gibberish when GT places them next to each other. To verify Google’s potentially nonsense translations, you used to have to either a) go through the laborious process of looking up the character by itself in a print dictionary, or b) paste whatever translation Google gave you into some other, lesser online dictionary — with often questionable results. Now that we have the romanization, it’s easier (for us no-iPhone luddites) to use a print dictionary to look up characters because we can do so via the roman alphabet, which always elicits a sigh of relief.

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