Google adds Auto-Translation feature to Gmail

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Photo - ZDNet.com

Search engine giant Google announced its mail service Gmail will soon have “automatic translation” feature for all users.

“The next time you receive a message in a language other than your own, just click on Translate message in the header of the top of the message and it will be instantly translated into your language,” the company said in a statement.

This new feature will be updated in all Gmail service user accounts. Google announced this on the heels of another language-related news blip.

According to Google, its Translate Service – which changes text from one language to other and handles much translation work in a day as human translators could manage in a year.

The company statement said that on any given day Google translates roughly as much text found in 1million books.

Anthropologist Sarah Kendzior isn’t quite happy with the translation service of Google as there are so many languages that aren’t represented by the search engine.

“Since its inception in 2006, Google has added 65 languages from areas extending across much of the world, though two exceptions stand out: Central Asia and Sub Saharan Africa. No language from Central Asia-such as Pashto, Uzbek and Uyghur make the Google cut. Neither do African languages like Hausa, Yoruba or Zulu. The sole inclusions from Africa are Swahili and Afrikaans.”

Adding to it, she also feels that accuracy is also an unavoidable topic of discussion when it comes to internet translation service.

However, Google acknowledges as much as on its Translate webpage. The company said in its blogpost: “When Google Translate generates a translation; it looks for patterns in hundreds of millions of documents to help decide on the best translation for you. By detecting patterns in documents that have already been translated by human translators, Google Translate can make intelligent guesses as to what an appropriate translation should be.

“This process of seeking patterns in large amounts of text is called “Statistical Machine Translation”. Since translations are generated by machines, not all translations will be perfect. The more human translated documents that Google Translate can analyse in a specific language, the better the translation quality will be. This is why translation accuracy will sometimes vary across languages.”

A Jump Forward Feature

According to Google, its new auto-translation e-mail service will be a jump forward due to increase in globalized workforce. And if you speak other languages fluently, you can notify Google so translations in those languages won’t show up automatically.

From coming week the new auto-translation feature will be shown up automatically in every Gmail account user.

Franz Och, a research scientist from Google labs from where new features are researched said on the sixth anniversary of Google Translate: “We imagine a future where anyone in the world can consume and share any information, no matter what language it’s in, and matter where it pops up. We already provide translation for webpages on the fly as you browse in Chrome, text in mobile photos, YouTube video captions, and speech-to-speech conversation mode on smartphones. We want to knock down the language barrier wherever it trips people up, and we can’t wait to see what the next six years will bring.”

Meanwhile, Google is also working on two more features in Gmail in its lab: Title Tweaks and Smart Mute. Also it is shutting down its less popular features like Old Snakey, Mail Goggles, Mouse Gestures, Hide Unread Counts, Move Icon Column, Inbox Preview, Custom Date Format and SMS in Chat gadget.

Sources: CNN, hindustantimes.com

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