Google has always released services that are useful to better understand major events: new imagery that shows the impact of Hurricane Katrina, special search engines for last year's earthquake in China, search trends for 9/11.
Google Translate included an early version of a translation system for Persian, in response to the recent events from Iran. "We feel that launching Persian is particularly important now, given ongoing events in Iran. Like YouTube and other services, Google Translate is one more tool that Persian speakers can use to communicate directly to the world, and vice versa — increasing everyone's access to information," says Franz Och, from Google.
The translation tool can also be used to read articles from Iranian sites, but the quality is less than adequate. For example, here's the translation of the latest 50 Twitter messages tagged #Iran and written in Persian (Farsi).
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