Google announced last week some updates to its translate project. I normally don’t use Google Translate outside the regular Web interface, so I’m sure I’ve missed a lot as it’s evolved.
Google Translate lives at http://translate.google.com/. It looks a bit different from what I remember, with more access to tools “up front” and an overt language autodetect for anything you might type into the search box. And of course you can translate a document as well. Over fifty languages are available for translation. But as I got further into looking at the new Google Translate, I discovered that all the good stuff, once again, lies outside of Google Translate’s home page.
For example. Google Translate Search. When you run a search you can choose to have results from Google Translate Search, which you can find at the very bottom of the search options toolbar. Google will decide which languages are appropriate for your search, run the search, report which languages it used, and translate the search results for you.
I searched for pierogi. Google decided I should have results from Polish and Lithuanian searches, and gave me translated pages of results. I didn’t get too much into them, but the snippets indicated perfectly acceptable translations for machine-level (of course they were mostly recipes.) I was amused to note that one of the results was the Polish Wikipedia translated into English. (There were far, far more Polish results than Lithuanian.)
If you don’t want to get that deeply into non-native-language search, keep an eye out for the Translate this Page links by the search results. Whenever you find a page that’s not in your native language, Google will give you a translation link.
Finally, Google has made Google translation a part of its shortcuts. You can do short translations from the Google search box. I found things like hello in German worked fine, but sometimes I had to specify using the word translate, like the query translate how are you in Swahili.
Note that you only get the translation. If you want to know what it sounds like, you’ll have to click on the link and go to the Google Translate page, where you’ll get a link to hear the translation.
I’m going to find the translate shortcut useful, but Google Translate Search’ll be pretty fun too, if I can remember to use it.