Conversion Tools

I’ve worn Raizo’s expression a time or two when trying to convert ₩ (KRW, South Korean won) into US dollars in my head, while reading an article or looking at merchandise to buy.  Or when I’m looking through a TV guide for overseas online broadcasts and I need to figure out what time it is across the dateline.

Conversion tools make all the difference in the world, don’t they?

Here are the links to a few of my favorites.  Have at.

by Stephe ^@@^ @ Cloud USA

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> MSN Money Currency Converter

> CoinMill(dot)com Currency Converter

> Yahoo! Finance Currencies Center

> World Wide Metric Conversion Calculator (for length, weight, volume, and temperature, here and internationally.)

> The World Clock (All time zones simultaneously.  Nice and simple.)

> World Time Zone quick reference (No muss, no fuss.  One glance will do it.)

> Time Zone Converter

> What Time Is It?

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Terri introduced me to this next little gem of a tool.  If you go to a site in any other language Google Translate supports, simply copy and paste the URL of the page you’re looking at into the text box provided, choose the language you’re trying to convert “from” and “to” (English), and hit the translate button.  And voíla—your page, in English.

(When I was using Google Translate today, for a moment I thought it had stopped working.  Or that perhaps it only worked with certain sites.  But then I realized that the page I was trying to translate was not in Korean (Hangul), but in one of the Chinese languages.  When I correctly chose “from Chinese”, it then gave me English.  So cool.)

Now mind you, converting isn’t the same as translating.  Converting directly from an Asian tongue to English, word for word, usually ends up not making much sense due to word placement, context, and other language issues that just can’t be helped.  But the beauty of this is that it at least gives you the gist of what’s being said, enough so that, if you find an article interesting, you can use keywords to search English sources for a similar item.  Or, if you’ve got the mind of a wordsmith, you may be good to go.

> Google Translate

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Here is an alternative to Google.  It’s pretty nifty to use, and accepts either text or a page URL.  The pull-down menu lists quite a few languages, and you get a side-by-side viewing of your translated page and original page.

> Microsoft Translator, by bing

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We’ll always be on the lookout for additional—and better—tools.  And, as always, your suggestions here are welcome.

“I can convert dollars to Won now, Mika.  Let’s go.”


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