Category Archives: Google Translate Blog

The official source of information about our translation and language technologies

The Arrival of our 32nd Word Lens Language, Heptapod B

We’re honored to have partnered with Dr. Louise Banks, esteemed linguistics professor, to develop instant camera translation for our 32nd language, Heptapod B. Following our experience with logograms in Chinese and Japanese, as well as the many characters containing circles in Korean, we were ready to blend our expertise in low-memory-footprint convolutional modeling and Dr. Banks’ linguistic background to the deciphering of circular logograms in the Word Lens feature in the Google Translate app.

Translate_Arrival_1.png

The challenge with understanding Heptapod B is its nonlinear orthography. Fortunately, Google's neural machine translation system employs an encoder/decoder system that internally represents sentences as high-dimensional vectors. These vectors map well to the non-linear orthography of the Heptapod language and they are really the enabling technical factor in translating Heptapod B.

We interpret Heptapod B into English, Chinese, Danish, Japanese, Urdu, Russian, French, Spanish and Arabic. As with our other Word Lens languages, it works offline, which is really handy if you happen to need to read a circular logogram in an isolated location. Dr. Banks assures us that the app will continue to work for at least 3,000 years.

Translate_Arrival_2.png

Communicating across language (and glass) barriers can be a rather alienating experience. While learning a new writing system can be quite rewarding and even a mind-altering experience, not everyone has time for that. So whether the world’s fate hangs in the balance, or if you’re simply trying to discern whether your coffee stain ring means something, we wish you success as you integrate this tool into the story of your life.

Source: Translate


How Google Translate is making learning English fun in Israel

Using neural machine translation, we’ve just updated Hebrew and Arabic languages on Google Translate. But what you can’t see on the surface is that these translations also improved thanks to students across Israel. As English as a Foreign Language (EFL) students used the Google Translate Community platform to learn and practice their English, they actually improved translations for everyone in the process.

Adele Raemer is an Israeli English teacher, a trainer for English as a Foreign Language (EFL) and digital pedagogy at the Israel Ministry of Education; she’s also a Google Certified Innovator, a Google Educator Group leader, and blogger.

Adele Raemer.png
Adele Raemer, English as a Foreign Language teacher and trainer at Israel’s Ministry of Education

When Adele first used the Translate Community as tool to teach English, she was impressed by how eager and motivated her students became. She wanted other students to share in the experience, so with the support of the Ministry of Education EFL superintendent and our education team, she turned this into a challenge for classrooms across Israel. The goal was to help students work on their vocabulary, develop critical thinking and translating skills and enhanced their engagement with English studies.

Last spring, 51 classes from across the country joined our Google Translate Community pilot competition. A month later, the class with the highest number of collective contributions joined us for a visit to our Google Israel office. The teachers used the challenge as a fun activity on top of their regular curriculum. As Mazi, an English teacher at “Hodayot” high school, said: “The experience of participating in the competition was very positive and enriched my teaching. Any time that a student finished a task early or had a bit of time at the end of the lesson, they could be productive by going into the site and translating!”

Translate_Israel_Group.png
Winning class from Jadeidi-Makr science school who won a visit to the Google Israel office

Inspired by the success of Adele's pilot program, the Translate Community team then built new tools that allowed group contributions and measured results more accurately. With new supporting lesson plans, more than 150 classes participated in a three month competition for Hebrew-English and Arabic-English. From these two competitions, 3,500 students translated and verified more than 4 million words and phrases.

Translate_Israel_1.png
English teacher from the winning school, “Nitzanim” school, with a student translating during a lesson

We’ve incorporated this multi-lingual knowledge into the training for our cutting-edge neural technology, which we’ve just launched today for Hebrew and Arabic. That means every one of these contributions helped improve translations for millions of people doing translations to or from these related languages.

We were thrilled to see the great impact that these students had on Translate itself. It’s so cool to see how the next generation of students is working hand in hand with the next generation of machine translation technology!

Source: Translate


Higher quality neural translations for a bunch more languages

Last November, people from Brazil to Turkey to Japan discovered that Google Translate for their language was suddenly more accurate and easier to understand. That’s because we introduced neural machine translation—using deep neural networks to translate entire sentences, rather than just phrases—for eight languages overall. Over the next couple of weeks, these improvements are coming to Google Translate in many more languages, starting right now with Hindi, Russian and Vietnamese.

Neural translation is a lot better than our previous technology, because we translate whole sentences at a time, instead of pieces of a sentence. (Of course there’s lots of machine learning magic powering this under the hood, which you can read about on the Research blog.) This makes for translations that are usually more accurate and sound closer to the way people speak the language. Here’s one example to show how much it’s improved:

hindi translate

You’ll get these new translations automatically in most places Google Translate is available: in the iOS and Android apps, at translate.google.com, and through Google Search and the Google app. We’ll be introducing neural machine translation to even more languages over the next few weeks, so keep an eye out for smoother, more fluent translations.

Finally, please keep contributing to Translate Community! Our translations are still far from perfect, and it helps everyone using Google Translate when you suggest improvements.

Source: Translate


Higher quality neural translations for a bunch more languages

Last November, people from Brazil to Turkey to Japan discovered that Google Translate for their language was suddenly more accurate and easier to understand. That’s because we introduced neural machine translation—using deep neural networks to translate entire sentences, rather than just phrases—for eight languages overall. Over the next couple of weeks, these improvements are coming to Google Translate in many more languages, starting right now with Hindi, Russian and Vietnamese.

Neural translation is a lot better than our previous technology, because we translate whole sentences at a time, instead of pieces of a sentence. (Of course there’s lots of machine learning magic powering this under the hood, which you can read about on the Research blog.) This makes for translations that are usually more accurate and sound closer to the way people speak the language. Here’s one example to show how much it’s improved:

Hindi_GoogleTranslate_v4_Blog.gif

You’ll get these new translations automatically in most places Google Translate is available: in the iOS and Android apps, at translate.google.com, and through Google Search and the Google app. We’ll be introducing neural machine translation to even more languages over the next few weeks, so keep an eye out for smoother, more fluent translations.

Finally, please keep contributing to Translate Community! Our translations are still far from perfect, and it helps everyone using Google Translate when you suggest improvements.

Source: Translate


Higher quality neural translations for a bunch more languages

Last November, people from Brazil to Turkey to Japan discovered that Google Translate for their language was suddenly more accurate and easier to understand. That’s because we introduced neural machine translation—using deep neural networks to translate entire sentences, rather than just phrases—for eight languages overall. Over the next couple of weeks, these improvements are coming to Google Translate in many more languages, starting right now with Hindi, Russian and Vietnamese.

Neural translation is a lot better than our previous technology, because we translate whole sentences at a time, instead of pieces of a sentence. (Of course there’s lots of machine learning magic powering this under the hood, which you can read about on the Research blog.) This makes for translations that are usually more accurate and sound closer to the way people speak the language. Here’s one example to show how much it’s improved:

Hindi_GoogleTranslate_v4_Blog.gif

You’ll get these new translations automatically in most places Google Translate is available: in the iOS and Android apps, at translate.google.com, and through Google Search and the Google app. We’ll be introducing neural machine translation to even more languages over the next few weeks, so keep an eye out for smoother, more fluent translations.

Finally, please keep contributing to Translate Community! Our translations are still far from perfect, and it helps everyone using Google Translate when you suggest improvements.

Source: Translate


Lost in Translation no more with Word Lens in Japanese

If you don’t speak Japanese, Tokyo can be a confusing and sometimes daunting place to visit. Even if you make it through the complex subway system, you’ll be faced by street signs, menus or products on supermarket shelves that are only in Japanese. 

With Word Lens now available in Japanese, you’ll never have to worry about taking a wrong turn on a busy Shibuya street or ordering something you wouldn't normally eat. 

The Google Translate app already lets you snap a photo of Japanese text and get a translation for it in English. But it’s a whole lot more convenient if you can just point your camera and instantly translate text on the go. With Word Lens, you just need to fire up the Translate app, point your camera at the Japanese text, and the English translations will appear overlaid on your screen—even if you don't have an Internet or data connection. It’s every savvy traveller’s dream! 

Google Translate: Cash only

To turn your smartphone into a powerful instant translation tool for English to Japanese (and vice versa), all you need to do is download the Google Translate app, either on Android or iOS

Source: Translate


Found in translation: More accurate, fluent sentences in Google Translate

In 10 years, Google Translate has gone from supporting just a few languages to 103, connecting strangers, reaching across language barriers and even helping people find love. At the start, we pioneered large-scale statistical machine translation, which uses statistical models to translate text. Today, we’re introducing the next step in making Google Translate even better: Neural Machine Translation.  

Neural Machine Translation has been generating exciting research results for a few years and in September, our researchers announced Google's version of this technique. At a high level, the Neural system translates whole sentences at a time, rather than just piece by piece. It uses this broader context to help it figure out the most relevant translation, which it then rearranges and adjusts to be more like a human speaking with proper grammar. Since it’s easier to understand each sentence, translated paragraphs and articles are a lot smoother and easier to read. And this is all possible because of end-to-end learning system built on Neural Machine Translation, which basically means that the system learns over time to create better, more natural translations.

Today we’re putting Neural Machine Translation into action with a total of eight language pairs to and from English and French, German, Spanish, Portuguese, Chinese, Japanese, Korean and Turkish. These represent the native languages of around one-third of the world's population, covering more than 35% of all Google Translate queries!


NeuralLearning_Translate_Blog_hires.jpg


With this update, Google Translate is improving more in a single leap than we’ve seen in the last ten years combined. But this is just the beginning. While we’re starting with eight language pairs within Google Search  the Google Translate app, and website; our goal is to eventually roll Neural Machine Translation out to all 103 languages and surfaces where you can access Google Translate.

And there’s more coming today too -- Google Cloud Platform, our public cloud service, offers Machine Learning APIs that make it easy for anyone to use our machine learning technology. Today, Google Cloud Platform is also making the system behind Neural Machine Translation available for all businesses through Google Cloud Translation API. You can learn more about it here.

Today’s step towards Neural Machine Translation is a significant milestone for Google Translate, but there’s always more work to do and we’ll continue to learn over time. We’ll also continue to rely on  Translate Community, where language loving multilingual speakers can help share their language by contributing and reviewing translations. We can’t wait for you to start translating and understanding the world just a little bit better.

Source: Translate


Found in translation: More accurate, fluent sentences in Google Translate

In 10 years, Google Translate has gone from supporting just a few languages to 103, connecting strangers, reaching across language barriers and even helping people find love. At the start, we pioneered large-scale statistical machine translation, which uses statistical models to translate text. Today, we’re introducing the next step in making Google Translate even better: Neural Machine Translation.  

Neural Machine Translation has been generating exciting research results for a few years and in September, our researchers announced Google's version of this technique. At a high level, the Neural system translates whole sentences at a time, rather than just piece by piece. It uses this broader context to help it figure out the most relevant translation, which it then rearranges and adjusts to be more like a human speaking with proper grammar. Since it’s easier to understand each sentence, translated paragraphs and articles are a lot smoother and easier to read. And this is all possible because of end-to-end learning system built on Neural Machine Translation, which basically means that the system learns over time to create better, more natural translations.

Today we’re putting Neural Machine Translation into action with a total of eight language pairs to and from English and French, German, Spanish, Portuguese, Chinese, Japanese, Korean and Turkish. These represent the native languages of around one-third of the world's population, covering more than 35% of all Google Translate queries!


NeuralLearning_Translate_Blog_hires.jpg


With this update, Google Translate is improving more in a single leap than we’ve seen in the last ten years combined. But this is just the beginning. While we’re starting with eight language pairs within Google Search  the Google Translate app, and website; our goal is to eventually roll Neural Machine Translation out to all 103 languages and surfaces where you can access Google Translate.

And there’s more coming today too -- Google Cloud Platform, our public cloud service, offers Machine Learning APIs that make it easy for anyone to use our machine learning technology. Today, Google Cloud Platform is also making the system behind Neural Machine Translation available for all businesses through Google Cloud Translation API. You can learn more about it here.

Today’s step towards Neural Machine Translation is a significant milestone for Google Translate, but there’s always more work to do and we’ll continue to learn over time. We’ll also continue to rely on  Translate Community, where language loving multilingual speakers can help share their language by contributing and reviewing translations. We can’t wait for you to start translating and understanding the world just a little bit better.

Source: Translate


Celebrating languages in the European Parliament

Ten years ago when we launched Google Translate, our goal was to break language barriers and to make the world more accessible. Languages shape our identities, culture, how we relate to others and how we communicate. They’re an additional source of cultural wealth, worthy of celebration. 

To mark this important milestone, and thanks to the commitment of MEP Catherine Stihler, we organized a reception in the European Parliament earlier this month. To demonstrate how some of the tools of Google Translate work, artists Donnie Munro and Trail West performed a beautiful and melancholic love song in Scots Gaelic, which was translated into English on Google Translate for the audience of MEPs and their staff, and translators working in the European Parliament.
europarliament.JPG
Donnie Munro singing in Scots Gaelic, with a translation to English on the screen

MEP Stihler stressed the importance of minority languages for local communities at the event, a sentiment shared by her colleague Jordi Sebastia (Co-Chair of the Languages Intergroup), when he said that Europe means diversity.

As our policy director Lie Junius explained, Google Translate cannot replace the essential work done by the professional translators in the European Parliament. But we do think it can be a tool that can help people understand each other, also in the most difficult of times, such as demonstrated by stories of British families opening up their homes to refugees, using Translate to start their conversations with them.

In the last decade we’ve grown from supporting two languages to 103, and from hundreds of users to more than 500 million people. And we’ll continue to improve Translate.  In February 2016 we announced that we’re adding 13 new languages to Google Translate, including Scots Gaelic, Luxembourgish, and Corsican - covering every single one of the EU member states' official national languages. 

Source: Translate


Celebrating languages in the European Parliament

Ten years ago when we launched Google Translate, our goal was to break language barriers and to make the world more accessible. Languages shape our identities, culture, how we relate to others and how we communicate. They’re an additional source of cultural wealth, worthy of celebration. 

To mark this important milestone, and thanks to the commitment of MEP Catherine Stihler, we organized a reception in the European Parliament earlier this month. To demonstrate how some of the tools of Google Translate work, artists Donnie Munro and Trail West performed a beautiful and melancholic love song in Scots Gaelic, which was translated into English on Google Translate for the audience of MEPs and their staff, and translators working in the European Parliament.
europarliament.JPG
Donnie Munro singing in Scots Gaelic, with a translation to English on the screen

MEP Stihler stressed the importance of minority languages for local communities at the event, a sentiment shared by her colleague Jordi Sebastia (Co-Chair of the Languages Intergroup), when he said that Europe means diversity.

As our policy director Lie Junius explained, Google Translate cannot replace the essential work done by the professional translators in the European Parliament. But we do think it can be a tool that can help people understand each other, also in the most difficult of times, such as demonstrated by stories of British families opening up their homes to refugees, using Translate to start their conversations with them.

In the last decade we’ve grown from supporting two languages to 103, and from hundreds of users to more than 500 million people. And we’ll continue to improve Translate.  In February 2016 we announced that we’re adding 13 new languages to Google Translate, including Scots Gaelic, Luxembourgish, and Corsican - covering every single one of the EU member states' official national languages. 

Source: Translate