Here’s a new feature for those who use Google Talk that should be of interest to teachers of foreign languages – 29 translation ‘bots‘ that can be added to Google Talk conversations. It all appears quite easy to use – for example, if you add email@example.com as a friend in Google Talk and send it a message to translate from English to Chinese. You can use it as an interpreter in your group chat, or download the Google Talk client for BlackBerry and use it as a pocket translator.
The Google Talk Blog explains that for more languages, just add any of the 29 other translation bots. They’re named using two-letter language abbreviations as “[from language]2[to language]@bot.talk.google.com”, and the supported language pairs are: ar2en, bg2en, de2en, de2fr, el2en, en2ar, en2de, en2el, en2es, en2fr, en2it, en2ja, en2ko, en2nl, en2ru, en2zh, es2en, fi2en, fr2de, fr2en, hi2en, hr2en, it2en, ja2en, ko2en, nl2en, ru2en, uk2en, ur2en, zh2en. So, for French to German translation, talk to firstname.lastname@example.org.