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Google launches universal translation tool for web publishers

Google Translate Widget
Google Translate certainly isn't the first machine-based translation engine that lets you translate text or entire web pages from one language to another. But it's certainly one of the most prevalent. And something tells me it's about to get even more ubiquitous, as Google has just launched a gadget that web publishers can use to let users translate pages to any language with the click of a button.

For instance, if you publish a web site in English but notice that a significant portion of your traffic comes from Germany, Japan, or elsewhere you can add a box to your sidebar (or anywhere on your web page) that lets readers choose their language from a drop-down menu. Google wil go to work translating the page and a small toolbar will pop up at the top of the page alerting readers tot he fact that the page has been translated. There's also a button to restore the site to its original language.

The most obvious benefit is that readers can translate your page without copying and pasting the URL into Google Translate. But there are a few other advantages as well. First, the tool adds a few letters to the end of the URL for any translated page, but it doesn't append "" to the start of the page, thereby robbing you of page views.

Second, if your site is in English and a visitor's browser settings are set to, say, Estonian, the toolbar should pop up automatically prompting them to translate the page. This could make your site a heck of a lot more attractive to international traffic.

Of course, the results are only as good as Google Translate's normal translations, which is to say, not very. While you can usually get the gist of articles translated by the service, you wouldn't really want to read literature converted from Russian to English via Google.

Tags: google-translate, translation, web-publishing