The multilingual engineers at Google have been busy tweaking the company's Google Translate feature and on Monday launched three new features, plus a new, shinier look and feel.
Underneath the new aesthetic, the biggest change is real-time translation. You can forget about hitting the 'Translate' button because Google now displays your translated text as you type. It's pretty fun to play around and experiment with, not to mention pretty useful for anyone composing letters which need to appear in a different language.
Another awesome feature is the ability to read just about any language, regardless of whether you understand the characters or not. If translating Chinese text, for example, you would mash the "Show romanization" link to read the text written phonetically in English. Before long, you'll know exactly how to say, "Where is the restroom?" and "Are you single?," two important phrases when traveling abroad.
There's also a new input translation feature for Arabic, Persian, and Hindi - just type the words as they sound and Google will convert them to their native script -- as well as a text-to-speech feature when translating into English.