This week in search 5/14/10

This is one of a regular series of posts on search experience updates. Look for the label This week in search and subscribe to the series. - Ed.

This week, we announced a number of new search enhancements.

Google Translate learns and speaks new languages
This week, we launched 5 new "alpha" languages on Google Translate — Armenian, Azerbaijani, Basque, Georgian and Urdu. We also extended our support for spoken translations to 29 more languages. With these launches, you can now translate text, webpages and documents between 57 languages, and hear translations spoken in 36 languages. For many search queries where you want to translate a word or a phrase, we offer a translation powered by Google Translate directly in our search results. We also recently added romanization to this feature — when translating to or from a foreign language, you can now see the translation written phonetically in roman characters.

Example searches: [translate how are you? to chinese] or [translate обезьяна]

Twenty more languages in Google search get virtual keyboard
Recently, we announced that we've integrated virtual keyboards into Google Search homepages in 35 languages. Virtual keyboard lets you type directly in your local language script in an easy and consistent manner, no matter where you are or what computer you’re using. Feedback is always important to us, and we were excited to get more than three thousand votes for other languages you felt the keyboard should be launched in. Today, we're happy to announce that we are adding Virtual Keyboard to another 20 languages — making it now available in 55 languages.

For those of you who speak a language we don't yet support, we're hard at work adding the virtual keyboard into more languages listed in Google Language Tools page. You can also vote for the languages you'd like us to add next. We always appreciate your feedback as we continue our efforts to help you input text in your desired languages as easily as possible.

Example languages we added this week:
Finding short answers
This week, we introduced a new feature that brings the technology of Google Squared right to your search results. Squared makes it easier to highlight answers for fact-based queries, so you can get more accurate answers, faster. Now, you'll see these answers right at the top of your search results, brought to you from across the web. And, we've also made sure this feature works great on mobile browsers.

Example searches: [timezone in nevada] or [when was jean-jacques rousseau born]

Thanks for reading, and stay tuned next week for more search news.