Wednesday, May 23, 2007

Search without boundaries



One of our goals at Google is to provide access to all the world's information. A big obstacle for that is the language barrier. If the ideal result page to a query is written in a language that you don't understand, then up until now it would be very hard to get access to this information. Today, we launched a new feature on Google Translate that takes a big step towards addressing this problem.

Now, you can search for something in your own language (for example, English) and search the web in another language (for example, French). If you're looking for wine tasting events in Bordeaux while on vacation in France, just type "wine tasting events in Bordeaux" into the search box on the "Search results" tab on Google Translate. You'll then get French search results and a (machine) translation of these search results into English. Similarly, an Arabic speaker could look for restaurants in New York, by searching for "مطعم نيويورك"; or a Chinese speaker could look for documents on machine learning on the English web by looking for
"机器学习".

While machine translation is not perfect, it's usually good enough for you to obtain the gist of information in a language you might otherwise be unable to access. We think this feature will be particularly useful for our international users since although the majority of Internet users out there are non English speakers, a majority of the content on the internet is still in English.

Note that this feature is currently in beta, and we're very interested in getting your feedback.

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