find a better translation source
First off, google is probably the worst translator you can find. For Thai, you can only choose a letter not a word - so ไ not ไก่...several words are translated incorrectly or not at all. This website is a great idea, but translations need to be on par. Maybe open it up to the community.
Google Translate is actually pretty good from English to/from the main European languages. Sorry that it doesn’t work so well for Thai.
Out of curiosity, do you know of a better machine translation system for Thai → English?
Thanks for those dictionary URLs Jennifer!
To clarify, for Chinese, Japanese and Thai, which don't use spaces to separate words... Since I wasn't sure how many would be required for a typical sentence, the way the limit is enforced is to:
1. Check that no more than 30 characters are selected.
2. Get translation from google translate.
3. If translation contains up to 6 (free) or 12 (premium) English words, it's OK and shown to user. If it contains more it's not allowed.
I think for Chinese, 30 characters is plenty but it seems for Thai it's easy for 30 Thai characters to lead to an English translation of less than 12 words - if this turns out to be a problem for people I'll look into increasing the character limit.
Jennifer Lewis-Wong commented
I don't know about MT, but here are some dictionary links:
I unless you're going to include word segmentation for Thai, the user needs to identify the boundaries and highlight the word themselves, so the word ends up being treated like a sentence, with an 8 letter limit.
Actually, google translate is one of the worst translation tools out there. It works to a degree, but anyone who has above intermediate level in any language would probably say the same thing. As for Thai, there's thai2english...but translations for languages like German, French, and Spanish are often off on google.