Google Translate

Google Translate
Google Translate website homepage
Type of site
Neural machine translation
Available in133 languages; see below
UsersOver 600 million people daily
LaunchedApril 28, 2006 (2006-04-28) (as statistical machine translation)[1]
November 15, 2016 (2016-11-15) (as neural machine translation)[2]
Current statusActive

Google Translate is a multilingual neural machine translation service developed by Google to translate text, documents and websites from one language into another. It offers a website interface, a mobile app for Android and iOS, as well as an API that helps developers build browser extensions and software applications.[3] As of 2022, Google Translate supports 133 languages at various levels;[4] it claimed over 500 million total users as of April 2016,[5] with more than 100 billion words translated daily, after the company stated in May 2013 that it served over 200 million people daily.[6]

Launched in April 2006 as a statistical machine translation service, it used United Nations and European Parliament documents and transcripts to gather linguistic data. Rather than translating languages directly, it first translates text to English and then pivots to the target language in most of the language combinations it posits in its grid,[7] with a few exceptions including Catalan–Spanish.[8] During a translation, it looks for patterns in millions of documents to help decide which words to choose and how to arrange them in the target language. Its accuracy, which has been criticized on several occasions,[9] has been measured to vary greatly across languages.[10] In November 2016, Google announced that Google Translate would switch to a neural machine translation engine – Google Neural Machine Translation (GNMT) – which 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".[2]

  1. ^ Och, Franz Josef (April 28, 2006). "Statistical machine translation live". Google AI Blog. Google Inc. Archived from the original on May 23, 2018. Retrieved February 15, 2011.
  2. ^ a b Turovsky, Barak (November 15, 2016). "Found in translation: More accurate, fluent sentences in Google Translate". The Keyword Google Blog. Google Inc. Archived from the original on April 7, 2017. Retrieved December 1, 2016.
  3. ^ "Translations Made Simple: The Usefulness of Translation Apps". Ulatus. April 8, 2020. Archived from the original on April 29, 2020. Retrieved April 29, 2020.
  4. ^ Caswell, Isaac (May 11, 2022). "Google Translate Learns 24 New Languages". The Keyword. Retrieved July 4, 2023.
  5. ^ Turovsky, Barak (April 28, 2016). "Ten years of Google Translate". Google Translate Blog. Google Inc. Archived from the original on December 24, 2019. Retrieved December 24, 2019.
  6. ^ Shankland, Stephen (May 18, 2013). "Google Translate now serves 200 million people daily". CNET. Red Ventures; CBS Interactive (at the time of publication). Archived from the original on December 4, 2019. Retrieved October 17, 2014.
  7. ^ Benjamin, Martin (April 1, 2019). "How GT Pivots through English". Teach You Backwards. Archived from the original on January 13, 2021. Retrieved December 24, 2019.
  8. ^ Benjamin, Martin (April 1, 2019). "Catalan to Spanish Translations". Teach You Backwards. Archived from the original on December 24, 2019. Retrieved December 24, 2019.
  9. ^ Hofstadter, Douglas (January 30, 2018). "The Shallowness of Google Translate". The Atlantic. Emerson Collective. Archived from the original on March 22, 2020. Retrieved March 24, 2020.
  10. ^ Benjamin, Martin (March 30, 2019). "Source data for Teach You Backwards: An In-Depth Study of Google Translate for 108 Languages". Teach You Backwards. Archived from the original on December 24, 2019. Retrieved December 24, 2019.

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