Breaking Down Language Barriers w/ Google Translate


I’m gonna let you in on a little secret: *whispers I see [language] people… English. Japanese. Chinese. German. Arabic. I can understand all the languages. Its easy as 1-2-3. Simple as Do-Rei-Me… A-B-C. 1-2-3. Baby…well, you get the idea. But I can’t take all the credit. And I’m no polyglot. I owe it all to the über-effective translation service – Google Translate.

Created by the think tanks at Google Labs, Google Translate offers a comprehensive, dynamic translating service that is second-to-none. A service that provides “instant translations as you type.” And options for listening to translations, phonetic pronunciations, and translating webpages and documents on the fly. Google Translate truly is an excellent online translation tool. Check out the vid for more:

I’ve been using the Google Translate service for quite some time and I must admit, its really useful. On occasion, I’ll gravitate to foreign websites in foreign languages because those sites provide a glimpse of what’s to come – the latest news in new tech/style/entertainment. But, I’m usually checking out just the photos because I don’t know what these sites are trying to say because I can’t read the text. With Google Translate – that’s not really a big problem. With Google Translate you just plug in the URL and the service automagically does the rest. All the text and content is translated into your language of choice and available for your viewing pleasure.

Communication with friends, colleagues, and other networks living overseas is also very doable when used in tandem with Google Translate. If you have AIM, Facebook, Skype, Google Wave, etc… then you’d know what I’m talking about. Just type in a phrase you’d like to say, hit ‘Translate,’ and then copy-and-paste the translation into your communication window. How simple is that? Language barrier*? What’s that?!? Although not all translations are spot-on, you can always ask your friends (or whomever) to provide a better translation. Google Translate also allows us to provide better translations so that its translations will becomes more accurate. Talk about dynamic.

One caveat, though. The translation service doesn’t perform miracles… yet. Like for example: Google Translate is still not capable of translating foreign text in an image file (e.g. *.jpg, *.bmp, etc…), but you can view the rest of the content and text on a foreign website as if it were in your target language.

Despite this, overall, Google Translate is a very powerful communication tool, and has the potential to break down language barriers and bring more people together. And with a new look, instant translations, and phonetic breakdowns – it can only get better from here. Now if they can only incorporate this service into Google’s OTHER communication tools…

[via Google]
*Sidenote: What’s left for the traditional (see human) translators?! Just kidding. I bet there is a lot more. But for the rest of us, this is one step closer to breaking down the language barrier.

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