Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Automatic message translation in Gmail

Automatic Message Translation:  Gmail has no equal

By Dr P Vyasamoorthy


Gmail offers another fantastic facility: Automatic Translation of an incoming message into a language of your choice. Some seventeen languages are supported presently. 


Languages that may be translated include: Arabic, Chinese, Danish, Dutch, English, French, German, Greek, Italian, Japanese, Korean, Japanese, Norwegian, Portuguese, Russian, Spanish and Swedish.  If the message that you get is in any of these languages you may have it translated into any one of the other languages. Therefore this facility will benefit millions of Gmail users across the globe.


You do not even need to know which language the message is in when it arrives. For instance I got a message in a foreign language about which I had no clue at all. In seconds I got translated into English and THEN I learnt the translation was from Chinese!


When Gmail detects one of your messages is in a language other than your default language, you'll see a header at the top of the message. Click the link that says Translate message to.... Your message will be translated inline (no need to open a new tab or window). Or if you want to translate the message and print it too, you can click the down arrow next to the Reply button and select Translate and print.


Most interesting option is that you can also translate an entire conversation – complete set of messages having same subject or thread as it known. Just click the globe icon on the right side of the conversation and you're good to go.


If you'd like to change the language your messages are translated to (let's say it prompts you to translate a Chinese message to English, but you'd prefer to read it in Swedish), just click the Change language link in the header and select your preferred language and select your preferred language, or go directly to the Settings page and change the setting for your 'Default translation language.' If you'd like to turn off message translation, click Settings and deselect the checkbox next to 'Enable message translation.' All these are accessible via Labs module in Gmail settings.


The day is not far off when Indian Languages will also get added to the list. If this should happen the key point is to promote commerce via these languages – enough services and products being sold via Indian language websites.



Dr P Vyasamoorthy,
30 Gruhalakshmi Colony Secunderabad 500015 Ph 040-27846631 / 9490804278

1 comment:

  1. I later discovered that Hindi is included for this auto translation of messages.