Back in the day if you needed to translate an email written in another language you were forced to seek out a site like Babelfish. It worked well enough to get the job done but was always one extra step. Today there is a new feature in Gmail Labs which automatically translates foreign-language email messages to your native language directly in Gmail.
Once you’ve enabled the feature (go to Settings -> Labs and enable Message translation), using it is a as simple as clicking the translate link that automatically appears when an email is in a different language than your default; the text translates before your very eyes.
While most of us probably don’t do a lot of cross-language communication if you happen to do so this is an awesome addition to the already wicked cool arsenal of email tools provided via GMail Labs. You’re still at the mercy of Google Translate’s capabilities, but if you’re just looking to get the core of the conversation this feature will do in a pinch.