Google Leaps Over Language Barriers

May 23, 2007

Google Translate adds new feature to convert search results into 12 different languages

Here at Google, part of our mission is to make the world’s information universally accessible to our users, regardless of differences such as language. Today we are releasing a tool from Google Translate that takes us one step closer to this goal. We are happy to announce the arrival of a new cross-language search feature that allows users across the world to find and view search results on foreign language web pages in their own native language. Now, more content on the web is accessible to more users, regardless of what languages they speak. This means, for example, that if an Arabic speaker is searching for restaurants in New York, he/she can now conduct a search in Arabic, and Google will translate the results (most of which are from English language websites) and provide the most relevant search results in their native language.

This new feature is available in the following languages: English, Arabic, French, Italian, German, Spanish, Portuguese, Russian, Japanese, Korean, Chinese (Traditional), and Chinese (Simplified).

The Power of Machine Translation

Google uses machine translation, or automated language translation, to enable users to search and view foreign language web content. A user simply needs to visit, enter a query in their language, select the language they want to find results in, and issue a search. Behind the scenes, Google translates the query, performs a search, and translates the results so that users can click on the results of interest to view. And while machine translation is not perfect, it can be a very useful tool for users who want to access and obtain a gist of content written in a language that they do not know or know well.

Watch the demonstration

This new Google Translate feature was previewed last Wednesday at Google’s Mountain View, CA campus during Searchology, a media event focused completely on search. You can watch Udi Manber, VP of Engineering, unveil the cross-language search tool at the following link:

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