Saturday, August 29, 2009

Translate documents: sharing across languages and generations

My cousin is in first grade and sometimes she writes short stories for class. I try to share the stories with her grandparents, but because Japanese is their first language and they don't speak English very well, it's been tough. Today we're releasing a feature for Google Docs to make this kind of multi-lingual sharing easier — you can now automatically translate documents into 42 different languages.

So for my cousin's latest story, I helped her type it up in Google Docs and then clicked "Translate document" from the "Tools" menu. In a matter of seconds, Google Docs has translated the whole story into Japanese using Google Translate's technology.

You can replace the original document with the translation or make a new translated version. I like keeping an English version for friends here and creating a separate Japanese version for her grandparents. All the formatting and layout is preserved no matter what language it's in — translations aren't perfect, but we are continuously working on improving translation quality over time. We hope this new feature helps you more easily share information without worrying about language barriers.

Official Google Blog: Translate documents: sharing across languages and generations