Oh, man, an email from Uncle Rik.  You remember Uncle Rik – he was always going off somewhere for some reason or other.  One time he tried to visit every country – in alphabetic order – in a year.  Even when we tried to talk to him about the problems he would face with Latvia, Liberia, and Lithuania, he wouldn’t hear anything of it.

And now there’s this email from him.  But it’s not in English.  Bummer.  You don’t really recognize the language, either, which is bad.  He has a big number stuck in the middle of the email.  It could be dollars.  It could be Zimbabwe dollars.  It could be the distance to the moon.  With Uncle Rik, you never know.

So do you print out the email and take it around to all your friends, hoping that (A) they will recognize the language, and (B) old Uncle Rik isn’t saying anything too personal?  Do you just ignore the email, and hope it was nothing important?

Or you could take Door Number 3, and use Google Translate.

Bummer.  Now I gotta click through all those different languages and see what looks like English on the other end?  Well, nosir, you don’t.  Because Google Translate includes language detection.  If you want to translate Greek to Yiddish, or Welsh to Azerbaijani, you have that choice.  But if you just want to read whatever was written, you have the choice of Detect Language.  And it works.

Google Translate.  It’s not just for Uncle Rik anymore.