Tag Archives: translate

Google Translate: One billion installs, one billion stories

When my wife and I were flying home from a trip to France a few years ago, our seatmate had just spent a few months exploring the French countryside and staying in small inns. When he learned that I worked on Google Translate, he got excited. He told me Translate’s conversation mode helped him chat with his hosts about family, politics, culture and more. Thanks to Translate, he said, he connected more deeply with people around him while in France.


The passenger I met isn't alone. Google Translate on Android hit one billion installs from the Google Play Store this March, and each one represents a story of people being able to better connect with one another. By understanding 109 languages (and counting!), Translate enables conversation and communication between millions of people which otherwise would have been impossible. And Translate itself has gone through countless changes on the path to one billion installs. Here’s how it has evolved so far.
A screenshot of one of the earliest versions of the Google Translate app for Android.

One of the earliest versions of the Google Translate app for Android.

January 2010: App launches

We released our Android app in January 2010, just over a year after the first commercial Android device was launched. As people started using the new Translate app over the next few years, we added a number of features to improve their experience, including early versions of conversation mode, offline translation and translating handwritten or printed text.

January 2014: 100+ million

Our Android app crossed 100 million installs exactly four years after we first launched it. In 2014, Google acquired QuestVisual, the maker of WordLens. Together with the WordLens team, Translate’s goal was to introduce an advanced visual translation experience in our app. Within eight months, the team delivered the ability to instantly translate text using a phone camera, just as the app reached 200 million installs.

An animation showing a person using Google Lens on a smartphone, taking a picture of a sign in Russian that is translated to “Access to City.”

November 2015: 300+ million

As it approached 300 million installs, Translate improved in two major ways. First, revamping Translate's conversation mode enabled two people to converse with each other despite speaking different languages, helping people in their everyday lives, as featured in the video From Syria to Canada.

A phone showing a flood-warning sign being translated between English and Spanish.

Second, Google Translate's rollout of Neural Machine Translation, well underway when the app reached 500 million installs, greatly improved the fluency of our translations across text, speech and visual translation. As the installs continued to grow, we compressed those advanced models down to a size that can run on a phone. Offline translations made these high-quality translations available to anyone even when there is no network or connectivity is poor.

June 2019: 750+ million

At 750 million installs, four years after Word Lens integrated into Translate, we launched a major revamp of the instant camera translation experience. This upgrade allowed us to visually translate 88 languages into more than 100 languages.
A phone showing a real-time streaming translation of English text to Spanish.

February 2020: 850+ million

Transcribe, our long-form speech translation feature, launched when we reached 850 million installs. We partnered with the Pixel Buds team to offer streaming speech translations on top of our Transcribe feature, for more natural conversations between people speaking different languages. During this time, we improved the accuracy and increased the number of supported languages for offline translation.


March 2021: 1 billion — and beyond

Aside from these features, our engineering team has spent countless hours on bringing our users a simple-to-use experience on a stable app, keeping up with platform needs and rigorously testing changes before they launch. As we celebrate this milestone and all our users whose experiences make the work meaningful, we also celebrate our engineers who build with care, our designers who fret over every pixel and our product team who bring focus.

Our mission is to enable everyone, everywhere to understand the world and express themselves across languages. Looking beyond one billion installs, we’re looking forward to continually improving translation quality and user experiences, supporting more languages and helping everyone communicate, every day.

Source: Translate


Now you can transcribe speech with Google Translate

Recently, I was at my friend’s family gathering, where her grandmother told a story from her childhood. I could see that she was excited to share it with everyone but there was a problem—she told the story in Spanish, a language that I don’t understand. I pulled out Google Translate to transcribe the speech as it was happening. As she was telling the story, the English translation appeared on my phone so that I could follow along—it fostered a moment of understanding that would have otherwise been lost. And now anyone can do this—starting today, you can use the Google Translate Android app to transcribe foreign language speech as it’s happening.

Transcribe will be rolling out in the next few days with support for any combination of the following eight languages: English, French, German, Hindi, Portuguese, Russian, Spanish and Thai. 

Ongoing translated transcript


To try the transcribe feature, go to your Translate app on Android, and make sure you have the latest updates from the Play store. Tap on the “Transcribe” icon from the home screen and select the source and target languages from the language dropdown at the top. You can pause or restart transcription by tapping on the mic icon. You also can see the original transcript, change the text size or choose a dark theme in the settings menu. 

On the left: redesigned home screen, On the right:  change settings for a comfortable read

On the left: redesigned home screen. On the right: how to change the settings for a comfortable read.

We’ll continue to make speech translations available in a variety of situations. Right now, the transcribe feature will work best in a quiet environment with one person speaking at a time. In other situations, the app will still do its best to provide the gist of what's being said. Conversation mode in the app will continue to help you to have a back and forth translated conversation with someone.  

Try it out and give us feedback on how we can be better. 

Now you can transcribe speech with Google Translate

Recently, I was at my friend’s family gathering, where her grandmother told a story from her childhood. I could see that she was excited to share it with everyone but there was a problem—she told the story in Spanish, a language that I don’t understand. I pulled out Google Translate to transcribe the speech as it was happening. As she was telling the story, the English translation appeared on my phone so that I could follow along—it fostered a moment of understanding that would have otherwise been lost. And now anyone can do this—starting today, you can use the Google Translate Android app to transcribe foreign language speech as it’s happening.

Transcribe will be rolling out in the next few days with support for any combination of the following eight languages: English, French, German, Hindi, Portuguese, Russian, Spanish and Thai. 

Ongoing translated transcript


To try the transcribe feature, go to your Translate app on Android, and make sure you have the latest updates from the Play store. Tap on the “Transcribe” icon from the home screen and select the source and target languages from the language dropdown at the top. You can pause or restart transcription by tapping on the mic icon. You also can see the original transcript, change the text size or choose a dark theme in the settings menu. 

On the left: redesigned home screen, On the right:  change settings for a comfortable read

On the left: redesigned home screen. On the right: how to change the settings for a comfortable read.

We’ll continue to make speech translations available in a variety of situations. Right now, the transcribe feature will work best in a quiet environment with one person speaking at a time. In other situations, the app will still do its best to provide the gist of what's being said. Conversation mode in the app will continue to help you to have a back and forth translated conversation with someone.  

Try it out and give us feedback on how we can be better. 

Now you can transcribe speech with Google Translate

Recently, I was at my friend’s family gathering, where her grandmother told a story from her childhood. I could see that she was excited to share it with everyone but there was a problem—she told the story in Spanish, a language that I don’t understand. I pulled out Google Translate to transcribe the speech as it was happening. As she was telling the story, the English translation appeared on my phone so that I could follow along—it fostered a moment of understanding that would have otherwise been lost. And now anyone can do this—starting today, you can use the Google Translate Android app to transcribe foreign language speech as it’s happening.

Transcribe will be rolling out in the next few days with support for any combination of the following eight languages: English, French, German, Hindi, Portuguese, Russian, Spanish and Thai. 

Ongoing translated transcript


To try the transcribe feature, go to your Translate app on Android, and make sure you have the latest updates from the Play store. Tap on the “Transcribe” icon from the home screen and select the source and target languages from the language dropdown at the top. You can pause or restart transcription by tapping on the mic icon. You also can see the original transcript, change the text size or choose a dark theme in the settings menu. 

On the left: redesigned home screen, On the right:  change settings for a comfortable read

On the left: redesigned home screen. On the right: how to change the settings for a comfortable read.

We’ll continue to make speech translations available in a variety of situations. Right now, the transcribe feature will work best in a quiet environment with one person speaking at a time. In other situations, the app will still do its best to provide the gist of what's being said. Conversation mode in the app will continue to help you to have a back and forth translated conversation with someone.  

Try it out and give us feedback on how we can be better. 

Source: Translate


Google Translate adds five languages

Millions of people around the world use Google Translate, whether in a verbal conversation, or while navigating a menu or reading a webpage online. Translate learns from existing translations, which are most often found on the web. Languages without a lot of web content have traditionally been challenging to translate, but through advancements in our machine learning technology, coupled with active involvement of the Google Translate Community, we’ve added support for five languages: Kinyarwanda, Odia (Oriya), Tatar, Turkmen and Uyghur. These languages, spoken by more than 75 million people worldwide, are the first languages we’ve added to Google Translate in four years, and expand the capabilities of Google Translate to 108 languages.

Translate supports both text translation and website translation for each of these languages. In addition, Translate supports virtual keyboard input for Kinyarwanda, Tatar and Uyghur. Below you can see our team motto, “Enable everyone, everywhere to understand the world and express themselves across languages,” translated into the five new languages. 

Translate Mission.gif

If you speak any of these languages and are interested in helping, please join the Google Translate Community and improve our translations.

Source: Translate


Google Translate adds five languages

Millions of people around the world use Google Translate, whether in a verbal conversation, or while navigating a menu or reading a webpage online. Translate learns from existing translations, which are most often found on the web. Languages without a lot of web content have traditionally been challenging to translate, but through advancements in our machine learning technology, coupled with active involvement of the Google Translate Community, we’ve added support for five languages: Kinyarwanda, Odia (Oriya), Tatar, Turkmen and Uyghur. These languages, spoken by more than 75 million people worldwide, are the first languages we’ve added to Google Translate in four years, and expand the capabilities of Google Translate to 108 languages.

Translate supports both text translation and website translation for each of these languages. In addition, Translate supports virtual keyboard input for Kinyarwanda, Tatar and Uyghur. Below you can see our team motto, “Enable everyone, everywhere to understand the world and express themselves across languages,” translated into the five new languages. 

Translate Mission.gif

If you speak any of these languages and are interested in helping, please join the Google Translate Community and improve our translations.

Source: Translate


Google Translate improves offline translation

When you’re traveling somewhere without access to the internet or don’t want to use your data plan, you can still use the Google Translate app on Android and iOS when your phone is offline. Offline translation is getting better: now, in 59 languages, offline translation is 12 percent more accurate, with improved word choice, grammar and sentence structure. In some languages like Japanese, Korean, Thai, Polish, and Hindi the quality gain is more than 20 percent. 

translation.png

It can be particularly hard to pronounce and spell words in languages that are written in a script you're not familiar with. To help you in these cases, Translate offers transliteration, which gives an equivalent spelling in the alphabet you're used to. For example, when you translate “hello” to Hindi, you will see “नमस्ते” and “namaste” in the translation card where “namaste” is the transliteration of “नमस्ते.” This is a great tool for learning how to communicate in a different language, and Translate has offline transliteration support for 10 new languages: Arabic, Bengali, Gujrati, Kannada, Marathi, Tamil, Telugu and Urdu.

Transliteration

To try our improved offline translation and transliteration, go to your Translate app on Android or iOS. If you do not have the app, you can download it. Make sure you have the latest updates from the Play or App store. If you’ve used offline translation before, you’ll see a banner on your home screen that will take you to the right place to update your offline files. If not, go to your offline translation settings and tap the arrow next to the language name to download that language. Now you’ll be ready to translate text whether you’re online or not.


Source: Translate


Google Translate improves offline translation

When you’re traveling somewhere without access to the internet or don’t want to use your data plan, you can still use the Google Translate app on Android and iOS when your phone is offline. Offline translation is getting better: now, in 59 languages, offline translation is 12 percent more accurate, with improved word choice, grammar and sentence structure. In some languages like Japanese, Korean, Thai, Polish, and Hindi the quality gain is more than 20 percent. 

translation.png

It can be particularly hard to pronounce and spell words in languages that are written in a script you're not familiar with. To help you in these cases, Translate offers transliteration, which gives an equivalent spelling in the alphabet you're used to. For example, when you translate “hello” to Hindi, you will see “नमस्ते” and “namaste” in the translation card where “namaste” is the transliteration of “नमस्ते.” This is a great tool for learning how to communicate in a different language, and Translate has offline transliteration support for 10 new languages: Arabic, Bengali, Gujarati, Kannada, Marathi, Tamil, Telugu and Urdu.

Transliteration

To try our improved offline translation and transliteration, go to your Translate app on Android or iOS. If you do not have the app, you can download it. Make sure you have the latest updates from the Play or App store. If you’ve used offline translation before, you’ll see a banner on your home screen that will take you to the right place to update your offline files. If not, go to your offline translation settings and tap the arrow next to the language name to download that language. Now you’ll be ready to translate text whether you’re online or not.


Source: Translate


Speak easy while traveling with Google Maps

Google Maps has made travel easier than ever before. You can scout out a neighborhood before booking a hotel, get directions on the go and even see what nearby restaurants the locals recommend thanks to auto-translated reviews.

But when you're in a foreign country where you don't speak or read the language, getting around can still be difficult -- especially when you need to speak with someone. Think about that anxiety-inducing time you tried to talk to a taxi driver, or that moment you tried to casually ask a passerby for directions.

To help, we're bringing Google Maps and Google Translate closer together. This month, we’re adding a new translator feature that enables your phone to speak out a place's name and address in the local lingo. Simply tap the new speaker button next to the place name or address, and Google Maps will say it out loud, making your next trip that much simpler. And when you want to have a deeper conversation, Google Maps will quickly link you to the Google Translate app.

Google_SpeakEasy_GIF_191018.gif

This text-to-speech technology automatically detects what language your phone is using to determine which places you might need help translating. For instance, if your phone is set to English and you’re looking at a place of interest in Tokyo, you’ll see the new speaker icon next to the place’s name and address so you can get a real-time translation. 

The new feature will be rolling out this month on Android and iOS with support for 50 languages and more on the way. 

Source: Translate


Speak easy while traveling with Google Maps

Google Maps has made travel easier than ever before. You can scout out a neighborhood before booking a hotel, get directions on the go and even see what nearby restaurants the locals recommend thanks to auto-translated reviews.

But when you're in a foreign country where you don't speak or read the language, getting around can still be difficult -- especially when you need to speak with someone. Think about that anxiety-inducing time you tried to talk to a taxi driver, or that moment you tried to casually ask a passerby for directions.

To help, we're bringing Google Maps and Google Translate closer together. This month, we’re adding a new translator feature that enables your phone to speak out a place's name and address in the local lingo. Simply tap the new speaker button next to the place name or address, and Google Maps will say it out loud, making your next trip that much simpler. And when you want to have a deeper conversation, Google Maps will quickly link you to the Google Translate app.

Google_SpeakEasy_GIF_191018.gif

This text-to-speech technology automatically detects what language your phone is using to determine which places you might need help translating. For instance, if your phone is set to English and you’re looking at a place of interest in Tokyo, you’ll see the new speaker icon next to the place’s name and address so you can get a real-time translation. 

The new feature will be rolling out this month on Android and iOS with support for 50 languages and more on the way. 

Source: Translate