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Translation English To Italian - Deciding on a Casual English to Italian Translator - Babelfish, Freetranslation.com, Reverso, Google Translate

cohn princeton robert language

Spoken by almost 62 million people worldwide, Italian is a widespread language. As a romantic language, it shares common ancestry with English, French, and others. Linguists make careers from English to Italian translation, but their services can come quite expensive for everyday use. For casual translation where gist is needed more than artistry, free English to Italian translators provide a quick, easy, and free solution.

But which is best? The internet is riddled with translation sites that provide subtle variations in accuracy and functionality.

To demonstrate the relative strengths of these translation services, this article will attempt to translate a line back and forth from each. As a sample line, this article will use the opening sentence of Hemingway’s The Sun Also Rises:

Robert Cohn was once middleweight boxing champion of Princeton.

For each service, the sentence above will be entered into the online translator and translated into Italian. The resulting text will then be translated back into English, and the resulting sentence will be compared to the original. Each test will then be followed by an analysis of the website’s performance and other characteristics.


Named for Douglas Adams’ fictional animal of the same name, Babelfish was developed by SYSTRAN, continued to Altavista, and is now owned and maintained by Yahoo.

Translation English to Italian:

Robert Cohn era una volta peso medio campione di inscatolamento di Princeton.

Final Result:
Robert Cohn was once medium weight champion of canning of Princeton.

Babelfish is a popular tool, quickly recognized by experienced net surfers and fans of British sci-fi. It provides a URL window in which an Italian website can be entered and then translated into a roughly English approximation.

In terms of accuracy, Babelfish stumbles over articles (the, a), as many translation services (and English language learners, for that matter) do. Its most humorous error is its assumption of that “boxing” referred to putting things in boxing, which leads to Cohn being the “champion of canning.”


FreeTranslation is a translation site maintained by SDL, a business-oriented translation company with offices on four continents. Their mission: “Global Information Management,” where brand identity is delivered across linguistic barriers.

Translation English to Italian:

Cohn di Robert era una volta il campione di pugilato di peso medio di Princeton.

Final Result:
Cohn of Robert was a time the middle weight of boxing of champion of Princeton.

SDL’s translation site uses automatic language recognition, where text is automatically identified as soon as it is pasted in. This saves a few clicks compared to other offerings, and the website continues to run smoothly past this point.

The translation, however, falters in its overuse of the preposition “of.” Prepositions are certainly a shaky area in English translations (why is it that we ride on a bus but in a car?), but Freetranslation takes this weakness to an extreme with their lightweight algorithm.

Overall, Freetranslation is a bad translator but a good advertisement for SDL, which maintains a large staff of business translators for each language represented in their free product.


Similar to Freetranslation, Reverso is a business solution company. It provides more robust free services that include transliterate dictionary, conjugation, and grammar services, financed by advertising revenue.

Translation English to Italian:

Robert Cohn era una volta peso medio che inscatola campione di Princeton.

Final Result
Robert Cohn was once middle weight that cans champion in Princeton.

Quick and easy to use, Reverso uses an intuitive pull-down window that splits into sub-windows in a manner similar to a Windows taskbar. Multiple translation-related features make the site highly versatile as well, particularly for users already somewhat familiar with the Italian language.
The translation program itself suffers from the same pitfall as Babelfish, losing stride along the multiple definitions of “boxing.”

Google Translate

Developed by mathematicians rather than linguists, Google Translate is an adaptable program which continues to grow more accurate with use. Like Babelfish, it is capable of full-page translations.

Translation Italian to English:

Robert Cohn era una volta campione pesi medi di pugilato di Princeton.

Final Result:
Robert Cohn was once middleweight boxing champion of Princeton.

Google Translate manages to translate English to Italian and back with 100% accuracy. The widespread nature of Google has landed this service in the margins of many websites through a free and easy-to-use HTML add-on. Users of Google Chrome are prompted to translate pages through this service with non-intrusive pop-up windows as well.

With functionality comparable to its competitors and unmatched accuracy, Google Translate’s algorithms stand tall as the best English to Italian translator available online.

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