Google looks set to launch a beta test of a document translation service, a new move in the company's efforts to break down language barriers.
Google Translation Center is the fast and easy way to get translations for your content. The site allows you to upload documents that are translated by (paid) human translators.
You can get translations in 40 languages. Google prefers to rely on computer algorithms rather than humans, so at first glance the Google Translation Center looks somewhat anomalous, even though Google is only playing a middleman role. But it's possible that the human translators might be gradually improving Google's machine translation technology as they work, in effect helping to put themselves out of a job.
That's because Google's translation system uses a statistical model that works better the more it can compare the same text in two different languages. And Google evidently will track translation work in its database; according to the center's introduction for translators, the translation search feature matches your current translation with previous translations, so you don't have to translate over and over again.