The cross-language information retrieval (CLIR) technology which Google VP Udi Manber previewed at Searchology last week has launched, according to the Google Blog. The technology has been built into Google Translate. It allows users to type in a query in one language, and instruct Google to find results from another language.
Google will translate the query into that other language, find results, and then translate those results into the original query language to present to the user. In effect, this allows users to seamlessly search documents in foreign languages as easily as they search in their own language.
An example is [wine tasting events in Bordeaux].
Google admits the translations are not always perfect, as illustrated by a search of Japanese Web sites for Boston Red Sox pitcher Daisuke Matsuzaka, or a search of Spanish sites for soccer team Real Madrid. But of course, the product is still in beta.