Google Translate

Google Translate

Image via Damian Kidd

To translate text, documents, and websites from one language into another, Google developed Google Translate, a multilingual neural machine translation tool. It provides a website interface, an Android and iOS mobile app, and an API that aids developers in creating software apps and browser extensions. Google Translate covers 133 languages at various levels as of December 2022 and as of April 2016, claimed to have over 500 million cumulative users, translating more than 100 billion words every day after the firm claimed in May 2013 that it served more than 200 million users every day.

In order to compile linguistic data, it used documents and transcripts from the European Parliament and the United Nations, which were released in April 2006 as a statistical machine translation service. In the majority of the language pairings it proposes in its grid, it first translates text into English before pivoting to the target language, with the exception being Catalan-Spanish. In order to pick which words to translate and how to arrange them in the target language, machine translation searches millions of pages for patterns. Its accuracy, which has received numerous criticisms, has been shown to differ significantly between languages. Google Neural Machine Translation (GNMT), which translates using neural machine translation, was introduced as the replacement for Google Translate in November 2016 “Instead of only one word at a time, use entire phrases. It uses this broader context to help it figure out the most relevant translation, which it then rearranges and changes to be more like a human speaking with proper syntax”.

google translate


A free online translation tool launched by Google in April 2006 is called Google Translate.  It translates numerous text and media formats, including words, phrases, and webpages. Google Translate was initially made available as a statistical machine translation service.

Before being translated into the chosen language, the input text needs to be translated into English first.

SMT had a low level of grammatical accuracy because it translated text using predictive algorithms. Despite this, because to the constantly changing nature of language, Google initially refrained from hiring specialists to address this constraint.

In order to act as a portable personal interpreter, Google released an Android app in January 2010 and an iOS version in February 2011.  As of February 2010, it was integrated into browsers like Chrome and was capable of pronouncing the translated text, automatically identifying words in an image, and identifying texts and languages that were unfamiliar.

To enhance the effectiveness of speech and visual translation, Google purchased Word Lens in May 2014. With the aid of the gadget, text or an image can be scanned and quickly translated. Additionally, the technology automatically recognises foreign languages and translates voice without having users to hit the microphone button anytime speech translation is required.

Google switched to using a methodology known as neural machine translation in November 2016. It has been proven to be more accurate when translating complete sentences at once between English and French, German, Spanish, and Chinese thanks to deep learning algorithms. [14] For GNMT from English to other languages, other languages to English, or between language pairs that do not contain English, Google researchers have not given any measurement findings. It translates more than 100 billion words every day as of 2018.

When court personnel at Teesside Magistrates’ Court neglected to schedule an interpreter for the Chinese defendant during a court proceeding in 2017, Google Translate was utilised instead. Google Translate was withdrawn in mainland China at the end of September 2022.

Image via Pranjalya Tiwari

Text, audio, and text contained within still or moving images are all examples of the various types of text and media that Google Translate can translate.

Particularly, these are some of its duties:
  • Written Words Translation
  • Website Translation
  • Document Translation
  • Speech Translation
  • Mobile App Translation
  • Image Translation
  • Handwritten Translation
  • Bilingual Conversation Translation
  • Transcription
  • Written Words Translation: a function that translates written words or text to a foreign language
  • Website Translation: a function that translates a whole webpage to selected language
  • Document Translation: a function that translates a document uploaded by the users to selected languages. The documents should be in the form of: .doc, .docx, .odf, .pdf, .ppt, .pptx, .ps, .rtf, .txt, .xls, .xlsx.
  • Speech Translation: a function that instantly translates spoken language into the selected foreign language.
  • Mobile App Translation: in 2018, Google introduced its new Google Translate feature called “Tap to Translate”, which made instant translation accessible inside any app without exiting or switching it.
  • Image Translation: a function that identifies text in a picture taken by the users and translates text on the screen instantly by images.
  • Handwritten Translation: a function that translates language that are handwritten on the phone screen or drawn on a virtual keyboard without the support of a keyboard.
  •  Bilingual Conversation Translation: a function that translates conversations in multiple language.
  •  Transcription: a function that transcribes speech in different languages.

Google Translate offers listening translation, a lexicon, and pronunciation for the majority of its services.

Additionally, Google Translate has released its own Translate app, enabling offline mobile phone translation:


  • Web interface
  • Integration of browser
  • Mobile app
  • API
  • Internet Assistant

1.  Web interface

Google Translate approximates a variety of text and media, including text, speech, websites, and text that appears in still or real-time video pictures, across several languages.  Google Translate can synthesis speech from text in some languages and in some pairs of texts, it is possible to highlight particular words and phrases that correlate in the source and target texts. Results are occasionally displayed below the translation box with dictionaries, although this is not a dictionary and it has been demonstrated that for terms it does not recognise, it will create translations in all languages. Text written in an unidentified language can be automatically detected if “Detect language” is used. Users can submit alternative translations via the online interface, such as for technical words, or correct errors. Future revisions to the translation procedure might take these ideas into account. Google Translate will provide a hyperlink to a machine translation of the website if a user inserts a URL in the source text. Each translation is assigned a shared URL, and users can save translation suggestions in a “phrasebook” for later use.  Text can be typed into some languages via an on-screen keyboard, handwriting recognition, or speech recognition.  It is possible to enter searches that are first translated into the desired destination language, allowing one to explore and understand the results in the source language. From phonetically comparable texts written in the Latin alphabet, texts written in the Arabic, Cyrillic, Devanagari, and Greek scripts can be mechanically transliterated. The option to display Japanese to English text’s phonetic equivalents is available in Google Translate’s internet application. The premium API version does not offer the same option.

There are “text-to-speech” audio functions for many of the more widely used languages that can read back a text in that language up to a dozen or so words at a time. When it comes to pluricentric languages, the accent varies by region. For example, the audio for English in the Americas, the majority of Asia-Pacific, and Western Asia uses a female General American accent, while in Europe, Hong Kong, Malaysia, Singapore, Guyana, and all other parts of the world, a female British (Received Pronunciation) accent is used, with the exception of a special General Australian accent used in Australia, New Zealand, and Norfolk Island, and an Indian English accent. For Portuguese, a So Paulo accent is used worldwide, with the exception of Portugal, where the native accent is used; for Spanish, a Latin American accent is used in the Americas while a Castilian accent is used elsewhere; for French, a Quebec accent is used in Canada while a standard European accent is used elsewhere; and for Bengali, a male Bangladeshi accent is used worldwide with the exception of India, where a unique female Indian Being accent is used. Some lesser-known languages use the open-source eSpeak speech synthesiser, which creates a robotic, unnatural voice that may be challenging to understand.

2. Integration of browsers

Some web browsers offer Google Translate as a free, downloadable extension that can run the translation engine and give users right-click access to the translation service. A default integration of Google Translate for optional automatic webpage translation was made available in the Google Chrome browser in February 2010.

3.  Mobile app

The 133 languages supported by the Google Translate app for Android and iOS can be translated into 37 languages by photo, 32 languages via speech in “conversation mode,” and 27 languages using live video footage in “augmented reality mode.

After an HTML5 online application for iOS users was made available in August 2008, the Android app was made available in January 2010 and the iOS version on February 8, 2011. The iOS software is compatible with iPod Touches, iPads, and iPhones that have been updated to iOS 7.0 or later, whereas the Android app requires devices running at least Android 2.1.

A “Conversation Mode” that seeks to enable users to converse freely with a nearby individual in a different language was tested in a January 2011 Android version. The feature was initially only available in English and Spanish, but the following October support for 12 other, as-yet-untested languages was added.

Users can utilise the “Camera input” feature to take a picture of a document, sign, etc. Using optical character recognition (OCR) technology, Google Translate extracts the text from the image and provides the translation. Some languages do not support camera input.

 Due to Google’s acquisition of the Word Lens app in January 2015, the applications got the capability to instantly offer translations of physical signs using the device’s camera. When Conversation Mode first launched in January, it only supported seven languages. In a July update, support for 20 additional languages was introduced, along with improvements to the speed and accuracy of Conversation Mode translations (augmented reality). Later, the function was renamed to Instant Camera. Instant Camera’s technology incorporates image processing and optical character recognition, and it makes use of typical Google Translate approximations for the text to provide cross-language equivalents.

On May 11, 2016, Google introduced Tap to Translate for Google Translate for Android. Upon highlighting text in an app that is in a foreign language, translate will pop up inside of the app and offer translations

4.  API

Google deprecated and would eventually stop supporting its Google Translate API for software developers on May 26, 2011.  The reason was listed as “significant economic strain caused by extensive abuse” on the Translate API website, with a deadline of December 1, 2011.  Google declared in June 2011 that the API would remain a paid service in response to public outcry.

The original decision to deprecate the API caused some developers to criticise Google and doubt the sustainability of using Google APIs in their products because the API was utilised by multiple third-party websites and apps.

5.Internet Assistant

For Google Assistant and the gadgets that Google Assistant is installed on, such as Google Nest and Pixel Buds, Google Translate also offers translation services.

Supported languages

As of December 2022, the following 133 languages are supported by Google Translate

Translation methodology

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           Google Translate debuted in April 2006 with a statistical machine translation engine. Since Google Translate’s algorithms are based on statistical or pattern analysis rather than on conventional rule-based analysis, it does not follow grammatical rules. Franz Josef Och, the original developer of the system, has argued that statistical methods are more effective than rule-based algorithms in many situations.  The first iterations of Google Translate were built on a technique known as statistical machine translation, and more particularly on work by Och, who won the 2003 DARPA contest for speed machine translation. Och oversaw Google’s machine translation division until he left in July 2014 to join Human Longevity, Inc. From one language to another (L1 to L2), Google Translate does not translate. Instead, it frequently translates from the original language (L1) to English and then from there to the target language (L2).  However, this might lead to translation problems because English, like all human languages, is ambiguous and reliant on context. For instance, the Russian equivalent of the French word vous is you т OR B/в. [92] It would be vous you B/в OR tu thou т if Google were acting as the intermediary and utilising an unambiguous artificial language. Such word suffixing clarifies the many meanings of the terms. Therefore, depending on the target language, publishing in English, using unambiguous phrases, offering context, and using idioms like “you all” may or may not make a better one-step translation.

Google Translate Community

              Google has features for volunteers to be a part of its “Translate Community”, intended to help improve Google Translates accuracy. Volunteers can select up to five languages to help improve translation; users can verify translated phrases and translate phrases in their languages to and from English, helping to improve the accuracy of translating more rare and complex phrases

Statistical machine translation

There are languages that continue to employ the conventional translation technique known as statistical machine translation, despite Google’s deployment of a new system called neural machine translation for higher quality translation. Using predictive algorithms, it is a rule-based translation technique that makes educated guesses about how to translate texts into other languages. Instead of translating individual words, it looks for overlapping sentences to translate. To create a statistical model that translates texts from one language to another, it also examines bilingual text corpora.

Google Neural Machine Translation

In order to improve the fluency and accuracy of Google Translate, a research team at Google announced the development of the Google Neural Machine Translation system (GNMT) in September 2016 and the changeover to GNMT in November.

A massive end-to-end artificial neural network that tries to accomplish deep learning, in particular, long short-term memory networks, is used by Google Translate’s neural machine translation system.

  Because it employs the example-based machine translation (EBMT) technique, in which the system “learns from millions of examples,” GNMT sometimes provides better translation quality than SMT. I t interprets “full sentences at a time, rather than simply piece by piece,” according to Google researchers.


Image via Colin

Compared to human translation, Google Translate is less trustworthy. When text is properly structured, written in formal language, with simple phrases, and related to formal themes for which training data is abundant, it frequently yields translations between English and a variety of high-resource languages that are comparable to human translations. When fewer of those characteristics are met, such as when sentence lengthens or the text employs literary or familiar terms, accuracy for those languages declines. In those formal settings, it may provide the gist of text for many other languages in comparison to English. A human review of 102 languages from English reveals that the primary concept of a text is communicated in 35 languages more often than 50% of the time.

Google Translate’s inaccuracy can be illustrated by translating from one language to another then back to the original language. This will often result in nonsensical constructions, rather than recovering the original text


Like other machine translation technologies, Google Translate has its limits. While the service can assist the reader in understanding the general content of a text written in a foreign language, it has restrictions on the number of paragraphs and the range of technical terms that can be translated. Additionally, it does not always provide accurate translations and frequently repeats verbatim the same word that is supposed to be translated. Because Google Translate frequently has trouble distinguishing between imperfect and perfect grammatical constructions in Romance languages, repeated acts from the past sometimes become isolated historical events. Although it may seem petty, this frequently produces inaccurate translations that a human translator would have been able to avoid (to native speakers of, for instance, French and Spanish). Knowledge The subjunctive mood is almost completely unknown.


  • There is no cost to use Google Translate. Although hiring a skilled professional translator can be expensive, keep in mind that you get what you pay for.
  • Google Translate is a swift tool. The speed of Google Translate is one of its key benefits.
  • In actuality, no human translator can match Google Translate’s speed or, consequently, the volume of translations it can produce. Depending on the text’s complexity, an experienced translator can translate a maximum of 2,000 words (300–400 words/hour) in a typical workday. Google Translate, on the other hand, can translate the same number of words in just a few seconds! Based on the frequency of language pairs, Google Translate creates an online translation database using statistics.
  • Google Translate creates an online database of translations that are frequently (but not always) made by humans and are accessible online using a statistical methodology.
  • Google Translate is accessible around-the-clock through web browsers and specialised iOS and Android applications.
  • 109 languages can be instantly translated with Google Translate, which is quick


  • The quality of translation is dependent on the language pair. …
  • Google Translate often produces translations that contain significant grammatical errors.

What are the benefits of translate

  • Is translating a rewarding profession?
  • Obtain a good income.
  • Self-employed Work Schedule.
  • A rise in demand.
  • Rapid Career Advancement.
  • every time learning something new.
  • serving as a part of a network