Google can translate, but tact will still be on you
Do you run to your smartphone to translate phrases when faced with a language you don't speak? Is Google Translate part of your usual app arsenal? You might want to keep your ear to the ground then, as Google seems to be preparing a real-time translation device.
Depending on your state of awareness and the depth of your internet search habits, you may have noticed that not everyone posting content to the internet can speak or write in English. Shocking, right? You could disregard the foreign characters and move on to the next page returned to you by your search results, but there’s a very good possibility that the piece of information you’ve been looking for is hidden amidst all those crazy looking words. Instead of risking the loss of an important piece of data, Chrome users can turn to Google Translate, our Browser Extension of the Week.
Traditional print publishing may have been in some choppy waters these past few years, but the ship’s no where close to going down just yet. Ironically, the best proof of this out there comes to us from the interwebz. Thanks to a site called Newspaper Map, those of us who still love the smell and feel of newsprint with our morning coffee will always know where to find a newspaper, no matter where in the world we might be.
Today at Mobile World Congress Google showed off a new piece of software that may prevent untold thousands of cultural misunderstandings. The prototype software allows a user to upload a photo of text, and then translate it to a different language. In the demo, the application was used on a German menu where it correctly translated "Fruhlingssalat mit Wildkrautern" as "spring salad with wild herbs."
The app was running on an Android phone, but few details were released. It could be this is just some unreleased feature in Google Goggles. Google CEO Eric Schmidt played off the demo in his speech when he said the availability of cloud computing applications on phones would be a potent factor in the future of wireless technology.
The Google event also included a new look at Flash content working on the Android operating system. Between that and the image translation app, Google managed to work the Android fanboys into a frenzy. No word on release dates for either feature.
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.