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Google Goggles Could Help Multi-Lingual Transactions

Good ol’ google goggles

googles gogglesWe started writing about Google Goggles last year and discussed the real estate implications for this new technology and this month, Google has announced that the Google Goggles feature will offer translation services.

Currently only offered in German to English translation with more languages to come, users can snap a picture of a piece of paper and via Google Goggles, it will be translated into English. This isn’t just useful for reading the bus map in Chinatown or for communicating with the pharmacist in Mexico after getting skin poisoning on the last day of your honeymoon (ahem), but has promising potential for use in real estate.

Real Estate Goggles

Googles’ goal is to make more information useful while on the go but in the field, multi-lingual communication is necessary at times. For example, we worked with a couple that were friends of ours, and the husband spoke English almost fluently and the wife only spoke Spanish, and at times, it would have been helpful if an English document/note could have been photographed and translated by Google Goggles for the wife for the words her husband nor I could translate. Sure, there was a Spanish speaking lender and broker on the deal and we went above and beyond to help, but there were one or two notes that Goggles could have saved us time with.

In real estate, customer service is the name of the game and frequently, multi-lingual clients pretend to understand everything they see and on the other hand, agents believe they’re using their high school Spanish properly. We all want to make sure someone understands the biggest investment of their lives before signing on the dotted line and it looks like Google Goggles could eventually be used to make sure that this happens.

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Lani is the COO and News Director at The American Genius, has co-authored a book, co-founded BASHH, Austin Digital Jobs, Remote Digital Jobs, and is a seasoned business writer and editorialist with a penchant for the irreverent.



  1. Greg Barnhouse

    February 23, 2010 at 3:15 am

    Thanks for the insight, Lani. This is always an important issue with us. Luckily, mi esposa, Diana, having grown up in a Hispanic family in San Antonio, has the Spanish and all the cultural aspects that go along with understanding and meeting the needs of our clients. While it is great to have each other covered, it looks like I may be better able to keep up with the help of Google Goggles. Liked it so much, I gave it a Tweet!


  2. Peter Owen

    February 23, 2010 at 9:16 am

    This will be a great tool. I am a Hispanic Texan, and like most think I have a good command of the Spanish language until I have to communicate in legal language of real estate. We can all use the help


    • Lani Rosales

      February 23, 2010 at 9:39 am

      Peter, in Texas we have Spanish contracts but it sucks that if you give one, you’re open and liable to provide all forms of communication thereafter in Spanish. I think Goggles helps to bridge that gap between trying to communicate and being required to provide fluent Spanish for a client.

      It’s always tricky when there’s an entire set of words (like legal diction) missing… so, I can speak conversationally, but technical and some contractual vocabulary is missing, I just never learned it!

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