For sites that use Google Friend Connect and its comment widget, there is now a novel new feature: comment translation. The comment widget plugs into Google Translate to allow readers to translate comments left in foreign languages. This will be a boon to international blogs and sites, such as Go2Web20, which use Google Friend Connect as a login system.
Now you can talk to people half-way around the world, even if they don’t speak the same language. Sort of. The translation is still machine translation, but it is usually good enough to get across the main gist of what people are saying.
The way it works is the comment widget has a “translate” link which then pops up a menu of languages to choose from. The translated comments are then highlighted in yellow. Here is a video showing what it looks like in action.
Google says that this can work for a variety of sites, including international non-profits such as the World Wide Fund For Nature’s Earth Hour website. The Earth Hour campaign is supported by 4,000 cities in 88 different countries to help engage citizens in conserving energy. Visitors to this website can now leave comments in their native language and use Google Friend Connect’s comment translation to engage in discussions with the greater community.
Comment translation is one of several new gadgets that have been rolled out in Google’s Friend Connect gallery, perhaps in an effort to catch up to Facebook Connect. These features include the event gadget, the polls gadget, and the Get Answers gadget.