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New plugin lets users fix Google's text translations

Google's Translation tool is getting an update that lets users "contribute a better translation" to make it easier for readers to understand what's written.

Google's new contribution function with Translate.
Google's new contribution function with Translate. Google

As anyone who has used Google's translation service knows, the offering can be quite useful, but somewhat spotty in its accuracy. Google is now trying to change that with a new, experimental feature.

Web site owners looking to have their pages translated must first add Google's Website Translator plugin to their site. Next up, they'll need to add the company's new customization meta tag to the site. After the site's text has been translated, that meta tag will display a new field, called "Contribute a better translation." Clicking that opens a text box allowing them to change what's shown.

Although Web site owners sometimes know how to speak certain languages their pages are translated into, that's not always the case. Realizing that, Google will make the "contribute" function available to visitors, as well. However, the changes visitors make won't go live until the Web site owner has approved it. When owners make the changes, they'll go live immediately.

Google's new translator feature is currently available in beta, and is free to use.