Google’s new ‘cross-language information retrieval’

Google has just launched a “cross-language information retrieval” (CLIR) function to Google Translate.

Here is how Google describes it:

Now, you can search for something in your own language (for example, English) and search the web in another language (for example, French). If you’re looking for wine tasting events in Bordeaux while on vacation in France, just type “wine tasting events in Bordeaux” into the search box on the “Search results” tab on Google Translate. You’ll then get French search results and a (machine) translation of these search results into English. Similarly, an Arabic speaker could look for restaurants in New York, by searching for “???? ???????”; or a Chinese speaker could look for documents on machine learning on the English web by looking for “????”.

These are the languages available, though for now these are not available in all combinations but mainly to or from English. (German and French are the only languages listed that can work with each other rather than English.)

  • Arabic
  • English
  • French
  • German
  • Italian
  • Japanese
  • Korean
  • Mandarin (in traditional characters)
  • Mandarin (in simplified characters)
  • Portuguese
  • Russian
  • Spanish


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