Google made several improvements to Google Translate Monday, such as the ability to translate words written with unique character sets with their phonetic spelling.
Google has been steadily adding languages to Google Translate over the last couple of years, but if the language used a completely unfamiliar character set--such as the Roman-character based languages like English or Spanish versus Chinese characters--the service was only useful for those trying to write in the language. Now Google Translate will help those trying to translate English into Chinese for speaking purposes by providing a phonetic version of the translation in Roman characters.
Those trying to translate English into Hebrew, Arabic, or Persian will have to wait for the phonetic option, but Google has also added a feature that lets an English (or any other language) speaker phonetically spell out a word in Arabic, Persian, or Hindi and get a translation of that word in its native character set. And for those trying to translate other languages into English, Google has added a link that produces an audio version of the word or phrase in English.