Language Guesser and Language Identifier
for Users of Translation Services

A free web-based language guesser or language identifier can help to tell one language from another. Although English is among top ten Internet languages (actually, it is number 1 so far), there are many more languages used on the Net, not to mention living languages of the world (about 7,000). Have you ever come across websites or blogs, or emails in your email box, in a language that you can’t even identify? Have you ever needed a professional translation of an official document or a personal letter, but could not guess what language this document or letter might be in?

In that case, free online language identifiers and guessers may come to the rescue. To guess which language a document is written in, these tools rely on identifying specific sequences of characters or short words unique for a given language. Automatic language identification does not work with hand-written texts. You should have a machine-readable text to use a language guesser or identifier.

There are many free language identifiers and guessers on the Net. For example:

1. Automatic language identifier. Supports 102 languages.

2. Webpage language identifier. Supports 55 languages.

3. Xerox Language Identifier. Guesses among 47 languages.

4. PolyGlot 3000 (free download). Supports more than 400 languages. Can recognize the language even if you insert a single word. It is a downloadable tool. If the document is confidential or sensitive or you just don’t want to past it into an online form for any reason, then you can download PolyGlot 3000 to identify the language of your document.

If you need the translation of a document written in an unknown language, start from using language identifiers and guessers. Do not rush to a translation agency immediately. Translation agencies and experienced translators will be able to identify many languages by sight, but not all languages. Moreover, such consultations will cost time and money.

On the other hand, free and instant online language guessers and identifiers will give you a good guess (e.g. the abovementioned PolyGlot 3000 detects 400 languages) or at least they will help you to narrow down the list of potential languages.

Then, you can confirm language identification with a translation agency or a professional translator before sending the document for translation.

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_____________________________________________________________________ Website owner: Irina Lychak, self-employed freelance linguist, Russian translator, Ukrainian translator, Kiev (Kyiv), Ukraine

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