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Lindsay Gallimore

Lindsay Gallimore
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The Adventures of WeBiText and Linguee

Published by lindsay_gallimore@sympatico.ca on 2011-11-12

Such cute names for translation tools! WeBiText and Linguee could easily be two language-loving leprechauns, but they're actually two of my favourite tabs to have open when translating.


I was first introduced to Linguee and WeBiText during my Traductique course at Concordia. These sites have become invaluable to my translating toolbox. In a previous post I talked about which tabs I always have open when translating. WeBiText and Linguee are two of my most-used tabs. So, which one is better? How do they differ? I am in the midst of a translation and looking up the same phrases and terms using both sites to see how they compare. I will share these results in subsequent posts.


Before I get started on my test drive, here’s some background info: Both Linguee and WeBiText use bilingual corpora in much the same way a translator might align his or her own texts using a program like SDL Trados. Their search engines find sites that have already been translated and try to match up, sentence to sentence, word to word, the different versions. The results are presented side by side. WeBiText has certain “prealigned” websites, such as that of Health Canada, ostensibly making the search faster.


Here is a comparison of the overall characteristics of both tools, in preparation for my more specific test run:





Been around since…

August 2010



German start-up founded by Gereon Frahling and Leonard Fink.

Developed by Alain Désilets, Benoît Farley and Marta Stojanovic for the NRC Institute for Information Technology. Recently purchased by Terminotix.

Social media presence





1.5 milllion search requests per day.

1,800 queries per day as of January, 2010. (Safe to assume this has increased greatly since then, I am waiting to hear back from my contact.)



Currently free but according to Terminotix rep Marc-Olivier Giguère, by the end of 2011 there will be a subscription cost of about $130 per year.


That’s why it’s free! There is a banner across the top and one on the right side, not too intrusive and thankfully no pop-up ads or talking ads. If you become a member, you get no ads, see below.


Membership/User input

You can set up a free account, and your first 100 searches will be ad-free. You can submit suggestions or changes, and each time you do so you are rewarded with 40 more ad-free searches. Members can participate in translation discussions. I just signed up.



There is no exhaustive list of corpora. According to Linguee, "Up until today, Linguee has been accessing more than 100 million example sentences per language. The new Linguee has even greater resources with a vast number of new translations from new sources including high quality PDF documents."

All Canadian government pages, all sites in .ca domain, AirBerlin, AirCanada, City of Ottawa, European Union, WestJet, WHO, etc.

Language pairs available





The drop-down menu lists allows you to select ton of languages, but the corpus may be smaller or non-existent for rarer language pairs.

Interface languages

Linguee.com (English)
Linguee.fr (French)

Linguee.de (German)

Linguee.es (Spanish)

Linguee.pt (Portuguese)

English, French, Spanish, Portuguese

(Menu at top right.)

Ability to enter sites of your choosing


You can enter any website address and Webitext will look for concordances. I tested it with a few sites I knew to be available in French and English. It worked for Communauto.com, Loblaws.ca and Bell.ca. For amazon.ca, I got this message: “While the site is bilingual, its content is not parallel. In other words, pages in a given language do not contain the same information as their coresponding page in the other language.” Other pages, like Chapters.ca turned up no results, but also no warning message.

Ability to choose corpus based on domain



Yes, you can choose a corpus by category, or a specific site within a given corpus. Corpus choices: .ca domain, Finances, General, Government of Canada, Health, Legal.

Search types

You can use quotation marks to get exact matches, otherwise it will bring up inflected forms and sentences with partial matches.

Only searches simple terms and shows exact matches, no partial or inflected matches.

Predictive error correction

Yes (similar to Google searches)


Target term highlighted in target text

Yes, though not always accurate.


Option of displaying bitext



External Links


Direct link to Termium

Additional info

Detailed editorial dictionary displayed on the left hand side, gives common definitions of terms searched.


Other features

Search Plugin for Firefox lets you search directly from your browser.

Option of displaying the source and target pages in various formats.


Stay tuned for my WeBiText and Linguee critique!



Awsome job. I can't wait to read what you think of those two tools...

And I want to know what you think of them! Do you use them?

I posted a comment at the Forum. ;)