Google Docs gets translation feature; and Google Translate supports more languages

By Mihir Patkar Published Date
01 - Sep - 2009
| Last Updated
01 - Sep - 2009
Google Docs gets translation feature; and Google Translate suppor...

Writing up a whole document in Hindi using either the Google Transliteration tool or a Devnagri font is a tedious task for those who are used to writing in English. I have had two instances where I had to do the same and by the end of it, I didn't want to look at a keyboard for a whole day.

Still, having documents in Hindi and other Indian languages is becoming increasingly necessary for the smallest of tasks – most of them being Government-related. And that's why the new support that Google Docs has for translation becomes that much more important.
Rita Chen, Associate Product Manager Intern, Google Docs, wrote on the official Google blog
"Today we're releasing a feature for Google Docs to make multi-lingual sharing easier — you can now automatically translate documents into 42 different languages.
"So for my cousin's latest story, I helped her type it up in Google Docs and then clicked 'Translate document' from the 'Tools' menu. In a matter of seconds, Google Docs has translated the whole story into Japanese using Google Translate's technology. 
"You can replace the original document with the translation or make a new translated version. All the formatting and layout is preserved no matter what language it's in — translations aren't perfect, but we are continuously working on improving translation quality over time. We hope this new feature helps you more easily share information without worrying about language barriers."
Meanwhile, Google has added nine new languages to its Google Translate portfolio: Afrikaans, Belarusian, Icelandic, Irish, Macedonian, Malay, Swahili, Welsh and Yiddish. That means that Google Translate now supports 51 languages and 2550 language pairs.
"The translation quality of these newest languages is still a little rough, but it will improve over time — and we're continuously working to improve quality for all languages supported by Google Translate," wrote Jeff Chin, Product Manager, in a separate post on the official blog
"We're also working to integrate Google Translate into some of our other products; you can already translate emails within Gmail, Web pages using Google Toolbar, RSS feeds in Google Reader and most recently, documents within Google Docs," he added.

Mihir PatkarMihir Patkar