Technology is supposed to simplify business, right? Today, Google released a new feature within Google Docs that could help break down language barriers in a global economy. The feature allows you to take the text within a document and translate it into your choice of 42 different languages.
I always have my reservations about translation services because so much can be lost in the translation so I wanted to run a quick test. I purposely grabbed a paragraph from a post on this blog earlier today that I thought might give the translation service an obstacle or two. This particular entry was appealing because I wanted to see how it would translate "Apple" and "Wall Street Journal."
In Spanish, an apple is "manzana" and Wall is "pared" and Street is "calle." So I typed it the sentence and translated it into Spanish - a language that I know well enough to check the translation. Here's the sentence in English:
Apple has nearly cleared the hurdles to begin selling its popular iPhone handset in China, one of the last major phone markets Apple has yet to enter, according to the Wall Street Journal.
Translated into Spanish by Google Docs:
Apple casi se ha aclarado los obstáculos para comenzar a vender su popular teléfono iPhone en China, uno de los últimos mercados principales del teléfono de Apple aún no ha entrado, según el Wall Street Journal.
Well done. It left "Apple" in-tact, as well el "Wall Street Journal."
It's a welcome tool for those who have struggled to take crash-course language lessons for business meetings overseas. A translation service like this won't help you over drinks with a non-English speaking client - but it sure will help with the back-and-forth e-mails that will be sent to close the deal.
The new feature is live today. Find it in Google Docs by going to the Tools drop-down menu.