Wednesday, May 20, 2009

E-mail instantly translated on Gmail

As family historians it is common to deal with non-English records and non-English speaking people. Part of this barrier is coming down with the aid of computer translation programs. Google has developed an automatic message translation program for its Gmail which will work between 41 different languages.

This new program adds to the already existing Google Translate program. Bloggers may also be interested in adding the Google Translate Gadget to their blogs which offers instant access to automatic translations of that page. I have installed the gadget on Genealogy's Star so you can try it out. By mousing over the translated text, you can see the original English. I tried this translation gadget into Spanish, which I speak fluently, and it works pretty well. You should find the gadget on the left side of the page.

I have used Google Translate many times, just in the last few weeks and it has been of amazing assistance in working more quickly with both familiar and unfamiliar languages. I have even used it to communicate with a Russian friend on my Facebook page.

The possible uses for these translation tools from Google exceed even my imagination. It is notable that in every case, Google requests feedback as to the accuracy of the translation. But if you don't like Google's attempt at the translation, you probably didn't need the program in the first place.

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