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Google: Gmail adds auto-translation


Rumors of "Google Drive," Google's online storage service, prompted entrepreneur Aaron Levie to change the direction of his company Box.


Kimihiro Hoshino

Google on Tuesday announced that its email service, Gmail, will soon add an "automatic translation" feature to all accounts.

"The next time you receive a message in a language other than your own, just click on 'Translate message' in the header at the top of the message," the company writes in a blog post, "and it will be instantly translated into your language."

The announcement of Google's new service comes after the company had another language-related foray in the media, reported CNN. Last week, Google said its Google Translate service handles year's worth of human translation work in a day.

"In a given day we translate roughly as much text as you'd find in 1 million books," the company said, according to CNN.

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But the accuracy and breadth of Google's current translation service has come under fire.

"Since its inception in 2006, Google has added 65 languages from areas extending across much of the world, though two exceptions stand out: Central Asia and sub-Saharan Africa," anthropologist Sarah Kendzior wrote in The Atlantic. "No languages from Central Asia — such as Pashto, Usbek, and Uyghur — make the Google cut. Neither do the African languages Hausa, Yoruba, or Zulu. The sole inclusions from sub-Saharan Africa are Swahili and Afrikaans."

Google has also made some other smaller tweaks to Gmail. The site's title will now read "Inbox (5) -" instead of "Gmail - Inbox (5) -," in order to make the email service more user friendly for those who like to keep many tabs open in their browser, according to the International Business Times. The company has also updated Gmail's Smart Mute function, which makes it easier to manage extremely busy email threads.

CNN reported the updates will be implemented within the next few days.