Google Translate receives timely Japanese language update

by Caitlin M. Foyt

It has been a week since disaster struck Japan.

Widespread destruction of the country, including to their telecommunications, has made it very difficult to communicate as people from around the world attempt to make contact with those who live there.

As information becomes readily available, it's important that updates are sent out across the globe as speedily as possible -- for the sake of relief efforts, news and so that families can keep their distant relatives in the loop.

It might not hurt to have a translator on hand.

Now with the ability to translate 50 different languages into and out of Japanese, an updated, experimental version of Google Translate has just hit the Android marketplace.

While on the surface the app works like any other Internet language tool, translating the written word from one language into another, Google Translate incorporates the eSpeak application for Android so that it can also understand you when you speak.

The application has a feature called Conversation Mode, which works like a mediator between two languages. Two speakers can talk to one another in their native languages while the app translates and fires back what's being said in real time.

While the early versions of this app's Conversation Mode were previously limited to English and Spanish, this update also includes Japanese.

Languages are complicated and because Google Translate is still in the experimental stages, recognize that there could be some possible hiccups.