UPDATED 17:12 EDT / MAY 19 2009

Lost in Translation – Not With Google – Example of Cloud Computing Scale Advantages

Google Labs is announcing today that it is breaking down the language barrier by instantly translating Gmail messages that are not in the correct language according to Jeff Chin, Google Translate product manager.

Here is how it works:

If you receive a message in a language you don’t understand, Gmail will translate it into your language with just one click.


Google is talking about how useful it is in business.  More impressive is how this “shows off” cloud computing as an enabling platform – enabling Google to leverage its’ machine translation technology and deliver it rapidly to users.

With the power of cloud computing, this feature is available to all Gmail userswithout having to buy servers, install software, or write code to integrate translation into email applications. The cloud also makes possible our approach to machine translation in which thousands of computers process billions of words of monolingual and bilingual text to build statistical language and translation models.

The cloud has enabled us to not only achieve very good results with our approach but also to quickly scale to more than 40 languages in just a few years and support millions of users. In addition, we’re constantly working on improving translation quality and adding new languages, so Gmail instantly benefits whenever we update our translation system.

Love this direction.  The direction of the web automating itself to work for me – the user!  Oh yeah – we live in a global culture so having translation is key to accelerating the collaboration trends that we are seeing now.

This is a Google Labs launch so to get started, click on “Settings” within Gmail, then the “Labs” tab, and enable “Message Transation”.

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