Google Translate has come a long way since Google switched to its own machine translation service, back in 2007. Google now supports 52 language pairs and "the databases for 296 other languages are in development," according to a Spiegel article.
Google Translate is more useful, now that it's integrated with many Google services. Here's a list of the best uses of Google Translate in other Google services:
1. Translate web pages dynamically using Google Chrome or Google Toolbar for Internet Explorer and Firefox. Browsers can now detect web pages in foreign languages and automatically translate the text, without opening a new page.
2. Google Translate for Android is a free application that uses voice input and a text-to-speech engine that reads the translation.
3. Google Goggles for Android is a free visual search application, which is now able to extract text from photos and translate it. "On a recent trip to Japan, Franz Och [Google's head of translation services], who doesn't speak Japanese, was able to decipher restaurant menus and even read local news -- using his mobile phone, which provided him with the translations within seconds," reports Spiegel.
4. Cross-language search is a feature of Google Search that lets you find web pages written in other languages. When you click on "translated search" in Google's left sidebar, Google finds the most appropriate languages for your query, translates your query and shows the results translated into your language.
5. Google Translator Toolkit is a great way to translate documents using Google's machine translation service as a starting point.
6. Gmail Translate is a Labs feature that lets you translate messages written in foreign languages.
7. YouTube lets you translate captions, which is quite useful for videos that have closed captions in one language.
8. Google Talk's translation bots help you translate messages from a conversation. "Google Talk can help you with quick translations, or even translate your chats in real-time. All you need to do is chat with one of the Translation Bots. You can also get your conversation translated by inviting a bot to a group chat with a friend."
9. Picasa Web Albums has a great feature that translates comments into your language.
10. Google Translate OneBox shows the translation of a text if you start your query with "translate". The OneBox is displayed at the top of Google's search results page,
Google Translate is also used to translate feeds in Google Reader, documents in Google Docs, reviews in Google Maps and YouTube's search results.