Many of the companies I regularly follow for the Fool are global in nature. It behooves me, therefore, to follow what the news media in countries around the world are reporting about these companies. For the most part, English-speaking countries do an adequate job of tracking and reporting on these developments. Their good work spares me from, say, having to know Mandarin in order to learn about the details of Intel's (NASDAQ:INTC) new plant in China, or Portuguese to understand that General Electric (NYSE:GE) and SunPower (NASDAQ:SPWR) just opened a new 11-megawatt solar power plant in Portugal.

Nevertheless, I know there is an extraordinary amount of information all around the world that would help me do my job better if only I wasn't limited by my capacity to speak and read only English (a language, I might add, that still gives me fits).

Well, thanks to Google (NASDAQ:GOOG), this handicap will soon be eliminated. According to Reuters, the company is employing statistical machine translation to interpret a variety of foreign-language documents and then translate them into English (and vice versa) in real time.

Google officials are quick to point out that the technology is not yet perfect and, as such, it might not be suitable for every task. But for those of us who just need to stay informed of broad trends or be made of aware of key facts, the translation service will be a boon.

It is also important to understand that as more data and documents are incorporated, Google's sophisticated algorithms will continually improve the system. Much like a young child just learning a language, it will get better at an astounding rate.

All of this should be music to Google investors' ears. Just imagine the possibilities as millions of citizens all across the globe stream onto the Internet and are no longer restricted to reading materials or accessing websites only in their native language. At a minimum, the service should lead to a sizeable increase in advertising revenue and that, in turn, should translate into higher revenues and profits for Google.

Interested in other Google-related Foolishness? Check out these past articles:

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Fool contributor Jack Uldrich took three years of German in high school, but can barely count to 10 (zehn) today. He owns stock in Intel and GE, but not Google. The Fool has a strict disclosure policy.