ElektroStudios ElektroStudios - 5 days ago 4x
Vb.net Question

Parsing GoogleTranslate especial characters

First of all, is not a solution for me to pay for a GoogleTranslate API.

I'm trying to translate with a Get method a simple phrase that contains a especial character "&".

"Me & You"

This is the method I wrote:

Public Function Google_Translate(ByVal Input As String, _
ByVal From_Language As Languages, _
ByVal To_Language As Languages) As String

Dim webClient As New System.Net.WebClient

Dim str = webClient.DownloadString( _
"http://translate.google.com/translate_a/t?client=t&text=" & Input & _
"&sl=" & Formatted_From_Language & _
"&tl=" & Formatted_To_Language & "")

' Debug: MsgBox(str)

Return (str.Substring(4, str.Length - 4).Split(ControlChars.Quote).First)

End Function

This is a usage example:

Google_Translate("Me and you", Languages.en, Languages.en)

The result is the same string 'cause I've translated from english to english:

"Me and you"

The problem is when I try to use any especial HTML character, for example the "&":

Google_Translate("Me & you", Languages.en, Languages.en)



This is the string without the split:


This is all I've tried:

Unicode identifiers:

Google_Translate("Me \u0026 you")

HTML Entities:

Google_Translate("Me & you")

HTML Escaped entities:

Google_Translate("Me &H38; you")

...And HTML percents:

Google_Translate("Me %26 you")

...Calling the method using the percents I get a string with an Unicode identifier:

[[["Me \u0026 you","Me \u0026 you","",""]],,"en",,,,,,[["en"]],0]

That maybe will mean the only thing that I need to do is to get the string from Google and translate the unicode identifier and that's all? ...NOT! 'cause if I call Google using other special character, I don't get any unicode identifier:

Google_Translate("Hello·"" World¿?", GoogleTranslate_Languages.en, GoogleTranslate_Languages.en)


"Hello·\" World¿?"

Result without the split:

[[["Hello·\" World¿?","Hello·\" World¿?","",""]],,"en",,,,,,[["en"]],0]

What I'm missing?

How I can send/get the data in the correct way using especial characters as &%$"¿? ?


Here's how (in C#):

First, you create your name value collection using the inputs you need like:

var nvc = new NameValueCollection
                    {"q", input},
                    {"source", "en"},
                    {"target", "en"},
                    {"key","Your translate API key here"}

Then you can call a function like this one:

internal string Post(string url, ref CookieContainer cookieJar, NameValueCollection nvc, string referer = null)
    var postdata = string.Join("&", Array.ConvertAll(nvc.AllKeys, key => string.Format("{0}={1}", HttpUtility.UrlEncode(key), HttpUtility.UrlEncode(nvc[key]))));
    var request = (HttpWebRequest)WebRequest.Create(url);
    request.CookieContainer = cookieJar;
    request.UserAgent = "Mozilla/5.0 (Windows NT 6.2; WOW64; rv:21.0) Gecko/20100101 Firefox/21.0";
    request.Accept = "text/html,application/xhtml+xml,application/xml;q=0.9,*/*;q=0.8";
    request.Headers.Add("Accept-Charset", "ISO-8859-1,utf-8;q=0.7,*;q=0.7");
    request.Headers.Add("Accept-Encoding", "gzip, deflate");
    request.Headers.Add("Accept-Language", "en-us");
    request.Method = "POST";
    request.KeepAlive = true;
    request.AutomaticDecompression = DecompressionMethods.GZip | DecompressionMethods.Deflate;
    request.ContentType = "application/x-www-form-urlencoded";
    request.ContentLength = postdata.Length;
    if (!string.IsNullOrEmpty(referer))
        request.Referer = referer;

    var writer = new StreamWriter(request.GetRequestStream());

    var response = (HttpWebResponse)request.GetResponse();
    var resp = (new StreamReader(response.GetResponseStream())).ReadToEnd();
    return resp;

Here's the call:

var result=Post("https://www.googleapis.com/language/translate/v2/detect",ref new CookieContainer(),nvc);

for small values of input, you can use GET instead of POST, just append postdata onto the url after a ?.

For google translate API, the response is in JSON format, there are many posts on how to parse JSON responses, so I won't go into that here, but these should help you get started: How to decode a JSON string using C#? Convert JSON File to C# Object