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March 26, 2008

Google to Add Language Translation in Gmail

ComputerWorld reports that Google intends to integrate its language translation service in Gmail and Google Talk. There are already bots that could facilitate an IM conversation with a person that speaks a language you don't know, but it would be much better to have the feature built in. Even if the translation is far from perfect and often incoherent, you'll understand the main ideas.

"What you need for real-time automated machine translation is large amounts of compute power, which we have, and large amounts of data, which we have. Imagine a system that can do on-the-fly translation of things like e-mail, documents and IM chat. That's a feature you can see on the horizon," said Google's Matt Glotzbach.

Apparently, Google is also developing tools for videoconferencing "to augment internal training programs and to serve as a hosted alternative to pricey videoconferencing software". Last year, Google acquired Marratech's video conferencing software.

In the past few years, Google started to preannounce features and services, but they were either released late or not released at all. We're still waiting for phone calls in Google Talk, tasks in Google Calendar, Gmail folders, Knol, Google Health.

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