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New Google Talk bots bring real-time translation to IM

In Google's never-ending quest to collect and utilize the world's information, the company today introduced a new translation feature to its Google Talk chat client. Delivered as a series of chat bots, these tools can quickly translate a phrase or paragraph for you, and they can even be added to group chats to act as real-time translators. The inaugural attempt is certainly a big step in the right direction, but as with any attempt to bridge language barriers with automation, things sometimes get lost in translation.

Google lists out about 30 total language bots in the announcement post on the Google Talk blog. The bots are all logically named according to their translation duty, such as en2ko@bot.talk.google.com, signifying an English to Korean translation. Just like Google's other language services, English is the dominant language across the translations, though some non-English bots such as fr2de do exist. Users must add a bot to their Gmail contact list in order to communicate with the bot or use it in a group chat. Once added though, these bots will do their job both in Gmail and other Google Talk implementations like the iGoogle start page, but group chats don't appear to work in third-party clients such as Apple's iChat.

Full article: arstechnica.com Posted by Picasa

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New Google Talk bots bring real-time translation to IM - Thursday, December 20, 2007 -

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