When you use Google Chrome and visit a site that's in another language, a bar appears at the top telling you what language the site is in, and asks you if you want to translate it. A single button click translates everything on the site into English.
Google has free apps for translating, too. And they're amazing.
I haven’t tried the Android app. On the iPhone, the Google Translate app has a microphone button. You tap it, then talk. When you're done, the app will translate what you said into any language you choose. The word or phrase will be written in the foreign language, with three buttons. One speaks the foreign-language translation through your phone's speakers. Another goes full-screen with the written translation, so you can show it to someone. And the third "favorites" the translation, so you can quickly go to it in the future.
The apps support more than 50 languages.
Google Translation apps enable you to sit there and have a conversation with someone who speaks a language that you do not.
Google is constantly improving not only the features and functionality of Google Translate, but also the quality of the translations.
Many people who have encountered it in the past may be surprised by how good it's gotten recently.
Google isn't the only company to offer machine translation. But from what I can tell, Google is the only company that's mainstreaming it. Their solution is very good, ubiquitous and constantly improving.
Google Translate is science fiction made commonplace.
And although the quality and ubiquity of Google Translate have both grown gradually, it's still a revolution in human culture. It's giving people all over the world the ability to have simple, natural conversations with each other, even if they don't speak the same language.