Google just announced an update to Gmail that will make life a bit easier for those of us who often write emails in different languages. Gmail users can now easily switch between over 100 virtual keyboards and transliterations. In addition, you can now use Google’s Input Method Editors (IME) to convert your keystrokes to Asian characters. This, says Google, means you won’t “find yourself limited by the language of your keyboard.”
Thanks to the virtual keyboards, which support languages like Arabic, Hebrew, Thai and Korean, Gmail now supports typing in 75 languages. The Input Method Editor currently supports Pinyin and Wubi IME’s for Simplified Chines and Pinyin and Zhuyin/Bopomofo IME’s for traditional Chinese and Japanese.
To turn these new input methods in Gmail on, just head over to your Gmail settings and look for the option to “Enable input tool” and follow the instructions here. It looks like Google is rolling out this new feature slowly, so if you don’t see it in your Gmail account yet, check back later today.
Previously Google already offered a similar feature set through its Google Input Tools Chrome extension. If you often need to switch between languages, the Chrome extension is still worth a look — even now that this has become a built-in feature in Gmail, as it works across a number of other tools, including Google Drive, Search and Translate. Google also offers a Windows desktop client and an Android app with similar functionality.