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Google starts translating search results automatically

by Todd Haselton | May 2, 2016May 2, 2016 6:30 pm PST


Google is starting to automatically translate search results, even if you haven’t specifically visited the search engine looking for a translation. The feature, first spotted by SearchEngineLand, allows you to translate something brief – a search like “hola amigo,” for example, without having to command the search engine to do so. Anything longer than two words doesn’t seem to work, but there may be a reason for that.

Someone who searches “hola amigo” is probably looking for some sort of translation, while someone who is searching for a longer phrase might actually be trying to find results in a foreign language. Google seems to be able to distinguish between the two by limiting translations to just a couple of words. Here’s a better example: Searching for “Donde esta mi amor” provides results for the song by Zacarias Ferreira instead of providing the translation “Where is my love?” That makes sense, since someone who is already searching for “Donde esta mi amor” probably knows what it means.

You can, of course, get a translation for a longer phrase by adding “translation” to the end of your Google Search query, in which case Google will do its best to detect the language and provide you with the end result.

Todd Haselton

Todd Haselton has been writing professionally since 2006 during his undergraduate days at Lehigh University. He started out as an intern with...