After three years of burying the feature in Gmail Labs, Google is officially incorporating a translate button into email, the company announced today. “Did you ever dream about a future where your communications device could transcend language with ease?” Google asks. Yes, we did! Wait, how did you know that? Have you been reading our Gmails???
Google says message translation, which will be rolled out over the next few days, was one of the most popular options in Labs, which is why it got to matriculate. Other Gmail Labs’s project that will soon see the light of day include “Title Tweaks” in your browser tab (to make it easier to see how many emails are in your inbox) and “Smart Mute” to keep “noisy email threads” out of your inbox. J’approve both those features!
Others less popular “labs,” in Google parlance, were sent to that cosmic scrap heap in the cloud, including Old Snakey, Mail Goggles, Mouse Gestures, Hide Unread Counts, Move Icon Column, Inbox Preview, Custom Date Formats and SMS in Chat gadget.
Multi-lingual Gmail users, who don’t need translation for a secondary language, can easily turn the feature off. A “Translate message” header should show up for any email in a foreign language. If it doesn’t, you can easily select the option from drop-down menu next to Reply.
However, the new feature does run into trouble translating Spammer into English. We just tried it on this subject line that recently appeared in our Gmail and still have no idea what firstname.lastname@example.org is trying to tell us: “The Employ this subterfuge to make that astounding 10 your girlfriend or to slam 3 chicks in 3 days.” Something about the cruel slaughter of baby chickens, probably.
For your next lab, we humbly suggest a translation option of Internet to Olds.