Google Translate Gets a Virtual Keyboard and Another Cool New Feature
Article by George Norman
On 16 Dec 2010
Remember how Google Search got a virtual on-screen keyboard this spring, a keyboard that would make it easier for users to enter queries in their native language? The virtual keyboard came in handy when the user had to enter special characters, characters that were not available in English, only available in their native language (like ê in French, from the word prêt-a-porter). Earlier this week the same on-screen virtual keyboard made its way to Google’s online translation service, Google Translate, making it easier for users to enter text in their native language.

After you select the language you want to translate from, let’s say French, the virtual keyboard will appear in the text input box. Click the keyboard and you will have access to special French characters. Check out the image below to better put things in perspective.


The on-screen virtual keyboard provides support for a long list of languages: Afrikaans, Albanian, Arabic, Armenian, Basque, Belarusian, Bulgarian, Catalan, Croatian, Czech, Danish, Dutch, Estonian, Filipino, Finnish, French, Galician, Georgian, German, Greek, Haitian Creole, Hebrew, Hindi, Hungarian, Icelandic, Indonesian, Irish, Italian, Korean, Latvian, Lithuanian, Macedonian, Malay, Maltese, Norwegian, Persian, Polish, Portuguese, Romanian, Russian, Serbian, Slovak, Slovenian, Spanish, Swahili, Swedish, Thai, Turkish, Ukrainian, Urdu, Vietnamese, Welsh, and Yiddish.

Moving on, Google Translate has recently got another cool new feature. Senior Software Engineer Josh Estelle explains:

“We’ve launched a new feature to provide you with alternate translations for each phrase in the translated text. Just click the translated phrase and you’ll see a pop-up menu of possible alternates for that phrase, as well as the original phrase highlighted in your original text. Not only can these alternative translations give you a better understanding of a confusing translation, but they also allow you to help Google choose the best alternative when we make a mistake.”

Here’s an image to put things in perspective.

Tags: Google, Google Translate
About the author: George Norman
George is a news editor.
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Google Translate Gets a Virtual Keyboard and Another Cool New Feature
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