Not sure if it’s enough to change Preston Galla’s perception of Google (he just penned a thought-provoking piece on Computerworld about the search giant losing its mojo), but this is quite handy for people like myself: the company has introduced a new OneBox for quick and dirty translations.
All you have to do is type in “translate” followed by the word you want to have translated (and optionally the words “into English”), and out comes a handy translation result right before general search results for that term. The results stem from its own bilingual directory.
As Google Operating System points out, you can’t use the search box as a shortcut for Google Translate because full texts aren’t yet translated. The bilingual dictionary is only available for the following language pairs: English <-> French/Italian/Spanish/Portuguese/German/Russian/Chinese/Korean/Hindi. The blog has also found some translation results to be accompanied with image results, but I haven’t been able to replicate it at my end.
(Via Zorgloob, who picked a far less friendly search query to demonstrate the new functionality) :)