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# babelizer.py - API for simple access to babelfish.altavista.com.
#                Requires python 2.0 or better.
# See it in use at http://babel.MrFeinberg.com/

"""API for simple access to babelfish.altavista.com.


    import babelizer
	print ' '.join(babelizer.available_languages)

    print babelizer.translate( 'How much is that doggie in the window?',
		                       'English', 'French' )

    def babel_callback(phrase):
		print phrase
	babelizer.babelize( 'I love a reigning knight.',
						'English', 'German',
						callback = babel_callback )

    A list of languages available for use with babelfish.

translate( phrase, from_lang, to_lang )
    Uses babelfish to translate phrase from from_lang to to_lang.

babelize(phrase, from_lang, through_lang, limit = 12, callback = None)
    Uses babelfish to translate back and forth between from_lang and
    through_lang until either no more changes occur in translation or
    limit iterations have been reached, whichever comes first.  Takes
    an optional callback function which should receive a single
    parameter, being the next translation.  Without the callback
    returns a list of successive translations.

It's only guaranteed to work if 'english' is one of the two languages
given to either of the translation methods.

Both translation methods throw exceptions which are all subclasses of
BabelizerError.  They include

    Thrown on an attempt to use an unknown language.

    Thrown when babelfish.altavista.com changes some detail of their
    layout, and babelizer can no longer parse the results or submit
    the correct form (a not infrequent occurance).

    Thrown for various networking and IO errors.

Version: $Id: babelizer.py,v 1.4 2001/06/04 21:25:09 Administrator Exp $
Author: Jonathan Feinberg <jdf@pobox.com>
import re, string, urllib

Various patterns I have encountered in looking for the babelfish result.
We try each of them in turn, based on the relative number of times I've
seen each of these patterns.  $1.00 to anyone who can provide a heuristic
for knowing which one to use.   This includes AltaVista employees.
__where = [ re.compile(r'name=\"q\">([^<]*)'),
            re.compile(r'td bgcolor=white>([^<]*)'),

__languages = { 'english'   : 'en',
                'french'    : 'fr',
                'spanish'   : 'es',
                'german'    : 'de',
                'italian'   : 'it',
                'portugese' : 'pt',

  All of the available language names.
available_languages = [ x.title() for x in __languages.keys() ]

  Calling translate() or babelize() can raise a BabelizerError
class BabelizerError(Exception):

class LanguageNotAvailableError(BabelizerError):
class BabelfishChangedError(BabelizerError):
class BabelizerIOError(BabelizerError):

def clean(text):
    return ' '.join(string.replace(text.strip(), "\n", ' ').split())

def translate(phrase, from_lang, to_lang):
    phrase = clean(phrase)
        from_code = __languages[from_lang.lower()]
        to_code = __languages[to_lang.lower()]
    except KeyError, lang:
        raise LanguageNotAvailableError(lang)
    params = urllib.urlencode( { 'BabelFishFrontPage' : 'yes',
                                 'doit' : 'done',
                                 'urltext' : phrase,
                                 'lp' : from_code + '_' + to_code } )
        response = urllib.urlopen('http://babelfish.altavista.com/tr', params)
    except IOError, what:
        raise BabelizerIOError("Couldn't talk to server: %s" % what)
        print "Unexpected error:", sys.exc_info()[0]

    html = response.read()
    for regex in __where:
        match = regex.search(html)
        if match: break
    if not match: raise BabelfishChangedError("Can't recognize translated string.")
    return clean(match.group(1))

def babelize(phrase, from_language, through_language, limit = 12, callback = None):
    phrase = clean(phrase)
    seen = { phrase: 1 }
    if callback:
        results = [ phrase ]
    flip = { from_language: through_language, through_language: from_language }
    next = from_language
    for i in range(limit):
        phrase = translate(phrase, next, flip[next])
        if seen.has_key(phrase): break
        seen[phrase] = 1
        if callback:
        next = flip[next]
    if not callback: return results

if __name__ == '__main__':
    import sys
    def printer(x):
        print x

    babelize("I won't take that sort of treatment from you, or from your doggie!",
             'english', 'french', callback = printer)


  • revision 4 (20 years ago)
  • previous revisions are not available