Google is truly a global company. With offices in more than 30 countries around the world, I find myself exchanging emails almost everyday with someone whose native language is different from my own. Many of our customers – from small ten-person companies to large global multinationals like Valeowork in the same way and use email to communicate with co-workers or customers from all over the world. That's why I'm really excited about a new feature in Gmail that will help to break down the language barrier.

Today we're announcing automatic message translation between 41 languages in Gmail Labs. If you receive a message in a language you don't understand, Gmail will translate it into your language with just one click.

Better yet, if your entire company uses Gmail, email communications between people in your company can take place in the language that's most comfortable for themeach person can write messages in their native language and the recipients can translate the messages into their respective native languages.

While our translation system is quite good, machine translation is a challenging problem and we know it's not perfect. However, it can be quite useful in providing a quick gist of a message, especially if you receive a lot of emails that aren't in your native language. If the translation is awkward or not quite right, you can quickly return to the original message by clicking "View original message" link.

With the power of cloud computing, this feature is available to all Gmail userswithout having to buy servers, install software, or write code to integrate translation into email applications. The cloud also makes possible our approach to machine translation in which thousands of computers process billions of words of monolingual and bilingual text to build statistical language and translation models.

The cloud has enabled us to not only achieve very good results with our approach but also to quickly scale to more than 40 languages in just a few years and support millions of users. In addition, we're constantly working on improving translation quality and adding new languages, so Gmail instantly benefits whenever we update our translation system.

This is a Labs launch, so to get started, click "Settings" within Gmail, then the "Labs" tab, and enable "Message Translation." Standard Edition users can follow these instructions immediately, while Premier and Education Edition users will first need their domain admins to enable Gmail Labs from the Google Apps admin control panel.

Posted by Jeff Chin, Product Manager, Google Translate

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