Detect language of a string

Posted on 2013-05-20
Medium Priority
Last Modified: 2013-05-20

Is it possible to detect the language of a string?

For example:

"Hello" -> English
"über" -> German
"¿a¿¿µ¿¿a" -> Greek

I understand that words written in English but in another language cannot be filtered (e.g. "Guten Tag") however I am asking only for those that have characters specific to each language like the examples above.

Thank you very much!
Question by:infodigger
LVL 10

Assisted Solution

ienaxxx earned 1000 total points
ID: 39180973
AFAIK there should be something in the google translate API.
Not sure if you was searching for something like this...
LVL 111

Accepted Solution

Ray Paseur earned 1000 total points
ID: 39181018
Each language has a "signature" that can be detected from its vocabulary, however it's not 100% accurate and the risk of error goes way up on smaller strings because the orthography evident in short strings is rarely unique.  The Google API occasionally suggests that my computer code is written in Dutch, etc.  I think letter-only detection from a single word would be nearly useless except for a very few languages.  For example, the U-Umlaut (Diaresis) may appear in Hungarian, Karelian, Turkish, Uyghur Latin script, Estonian, Azeri, Turkmen, Crimean Tatar and Tatar Latin alphabets, as well as in German.

See http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Language_identification

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