It’s been said, albeit jokingly, that the Internet has forced people to speak English. While it may be a funny thing to say, there is a grain of truth to that. In 2009, English topped the list of Internet languages, with Chinese not too far behind. Many factors come into play, of course, but the fact that there are more non-English speaking people online cannot be ignored.
That being said, it is only logical for the world’s biggest Internet company to provide tools that will open doors for non-English speaking netizens. And that’s exactly what the guys at Google have done.
In a blog post last week, the Google Translate team announced something along these lines: Google input tools.
If you’re a Chrome user, you probably already have thanked the high heavens for the built-in translation feature which allows you to make sense of pages in foreign languages. I can’t tell you how many times this has saved me from frustration.
With the new Google input tools, Google Translate – the page – is even easier to use. Google currently supports 65 languages, but it used to be that the input tools were limited. English speakers probably don’t have a clue as to the implications of the new Google input tools, but take for example the Chinese language. Of the four popular input methods (different variations of the language), only one used to be available via Google. If you used the other three, then you were sh#t out of luck.
With the update, more languages – and their variations – are taken into consideration. I believe that this is the right path to take considering that geographical and cultural barriers are virtually non-existent in the virtual world.
There’s more good news!
The new Google input tools are available not only for Translate, but also for other products such as Gmail and Drive. More reason for the world to use Google, yes?