Google Reader Gains Auto-Translation Abilities

    November 11, 2008

We English speakers are truly lucky that so much of the world is willing to accommodate us, learning enough of the language to at least give directions to the nearest bathroom.  But there’s an amazing amount of written content out there that isn’t in any given person’s native language, and to help with this issue, Google Reader has gained an auto-translate option.

In a post on the Official Google Reader Blog, Brett Bavar suggests, "Next time you find an interesting feed in another language, just subscribe to it as normal in Reader.  When you view the feed in Reader, check off ‘Translate into my language’ in the feed settings, and (voila!) the feed will be immediately translated for you.  Also, this setting will be saved so you can always view this feed in your own language."

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While a lot of people will be a little slow to embrace this feature, it should be of real value.  For instance, say you’re a car nut.  American and British automotive journalists do fantastic jobs, but there are probably still better sources for information about some companies.  Now you can read the blog of a Japanese person who camps outside Toyota’s headquarters every day, or an Italian guy who delivers pizza to Lamborghini’s test facility.

One warning: the translations aren’t perfect, so if you see something that looks odd (imagine a next-generation Scion tC with 10,062 horsepower), don’t take it as a definite fact.

Otherwise, now’s a good time to go see what the rest of the online world has to offer.