Thursday, May 24, 2007

Google Search, Translated

Yesterday, Google launched a new feature in Google Translate that adds machine translation capabilities to search results.

Since my grandparents were immigrants to the US from France and Germany, searching for their genealogy ultimately takes me to webpages which are not in English. Unfortunately, I never learned the languages my grandparents spoke, so my search method involved searching for their names in French-only or German-only webpages, then going to Google Translate to translate a part of the text or the whole web page from their language into English to see if the webpage was of any value to me. Doing genealogy research in a country where you don't speak the language is difficult and Google Translate has always allowed me to understand webpages I otherwise would not be able to read.

Now, Google announced that it has gone one step further with Google Translate. I can conduct, in English, full searches of French and German content and read the search results and webpages in English. This really simplifies the process of Google translation.

Check out Google Translate and then select the "Search Results" tab. There you can choose the language you speak and the language in which to find results. While this brand-new feature is currently available for a handful of major languages (French, German, Spanish, Italian, Portuguese, Russian, Chinese, Japanese, and Arabic), Google plans to expand this list in the future.

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.

For more Genealogy Google Search Tips, go to Google Genealogy Search Tips.

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