- Elena Santos |
- July 25, 2008
Meeting new people and chatting with them on Google Talk can be a very enriching experience. The problem comes when that person and you don't speak the same language and the communication flow is frequently interrupted by vocabulary lapses and constant dictionary look-ups. Google became aware of this issue and decided to solve it in a really handy way: by enabling a bunch of bots that automatically translate any text you type in into the target language.
The translating bots in Google Talk work in a very simple way. You only have to select the ones you're interested in from the bot list and add them to your Google Talk contact list, as if they were just another friend. There are quite a few combinations to choose from, and the email address you have to use to add them always follows the same pattern: [source language]2[target language]@bot.talk.google.com. Thus a bot that translates from English to German would be email@example.com, one that translates from Spanish to English would be firstname.lastname@example.org and so on.
Once you've added a bot, open a chat with it and type in the sentence you want to translate. The bot will reply with the translation, ready for you to copy on your friend's chat window. Needless to say, you can use these automatic translations for multiple purposes: from being able to communicate in several languages to playing a joke on a friend or – only for the most cheesy ones – saying "I love you" in a dozen different languages.