Google Translate has been a great tool, if not always very accurate, for translating the web or just simple text. But Google has been expanding its use into more scenarios, like voice translations and conversation mode on smartphones.
Yet, sometimes, simple text can still pose problems if you don't have a way of inputting it, for example if it's in a language you can type on your standard US keyboard or if the computer is only configured to use English.
"Typing in languages which use different character sets can be a frustrating problem in computer labs, internet cafés, and sometimes even on home computers if standard Latin alphabet keyboards are the only option available," Google explained
"To make typing in these languages easier we began including virtual keyboards and transliteration input methods in Google Translate last year, and we’ve been working to expand that support over time. Today we’re happy to announce three major additions to our input methods: Japanese, Vietnamese, and Hebrew language support," it announced.
Google Translate now allows phonetic typing for these three new languages. With phonetic typing, you write a word as you hear it, in English, and then Translate does its best to convert the word into its proper spelling.
All you have to do to use the new feature is select the "Allow phonetic typing" option now available for these languages as well. Translate also includes a virtual keyboard, for even more languages, to enable users to input characters they wouldn't be able on their standard keyboard.
"Since releasing transliteration support for these languages a few days ago, we’ve noticed significant improvements in the the speed of input," Google boasts. It says Vietnamese typing has become 20 percent faster on average since the new feature has been rolled out.