This week Google announced some new features for its Google Translate offering that makes it more immediate and even more useful.
Google Translate is available at http://translate.google.com/. The site now translates as you type; set translations from English to Spanish and “my hovercraft is full of eels” becomes “Mi aerodeslizador está lleno de anguilas” even as you type. (Even though it’s spontaneous, it *IS* still machine translation, though, so it won’t be perfect.)
Google Translate is also offering transliteration for Arabic, Persian, or Hindi. You can type the words as they sound and translate them into native script. For other non-Roman languages, you can specify to “show romanization” to read the non-Roman text written phonetically in English.
Finally, when you are translating other languages into English, Google will show the translation and a speaker icon. Click on the icon and a text-to-speech voice will read the translation for you. So “Mi aerodeslizador está lleno de anguilas” turns back into “My hovercraft is full of eels” spoken by the nice computer lady.