Google on Wednesday launched a test version of a translation tool that enables people to search the Internet in any of a dozen languages and have the results converted into their chosen tongue.
A beta version of Google's "cross-language information retrieval" feature is online at http://translate.google.com/translate_s.
The service "in effect, will make the Web universal," Google vice president of engineering Udi Manber said while describing it to the press at the Internet search giant's campus in Mountain View, California, last week.
"We have been working on translating all of the Web to all languages," Manber said. "The results are probably not perfect, but the information you want will be there."
Google's new software translates queries to perform multi-lingual searches of the Internet and then converts the results to a searcher's language.
The languages included in the service are French, Arabic, English, German, Italian, Japanese, Korean, Portuguese, Russian, Spanish, and traditional and simplified Chinese.