Knowing what you want to translate is sometimes only half the battle. You may have a letter from your secret admirer sitting in front of you, but if you can’t type the words into Google Translate the meaning can remain elusive.

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.

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.

To use transliteration input methods, just select the ‘Allow phonetic typing’ option when typing in Google Translate.
Since releasing transliteration support for these languages a few days ago, we’ve noticed significant improvements in the the speed of input (for instance, Vietnamese text input has become 20% faster with the new input method) which we hope to see translate into a better experience for everyone.

Keep an eye out over the next few months as we add support for more languages.

Would you like to use Google’s transliteration input methods or virtual keyboards across the whole web? Try out our Chrome extension, which includes transliteration for over 20 languages and virtual keyboards for 70 more.

Posted by C. Andrew Warren, Associate Product Manager, Internationalization Team