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Google Translate

Google Translate

Multilingual machine translation service

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, and an API that helps developers build browser extensions and software applications. As of January 2022, Google Translate supports 109 languages at various levels and as of April 2016, claimed over 500 million total users, with more than 100 billion words translated daily.

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, with a few exceptions including Catalan-Spanish. 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 and ridiculed on several occasions, has been measured to vary greatly across languages. 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". Originally only enabled for a few languages in 2016, GNMT is now used in all 109 languages in the Google Translate roster as of January 2022.


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Richard Speed
July 29, 2021
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Nicole Wetsman
March 9, 2021
The Verge
Many doctors rely on Google Translate to give written instructions to patients who don't speak English. A new study found that it's not reliable.
The Canadian Press
February 21, 2021
An online petition urging Google to make Cree available on its translation app.
Suzanne Humphries
December 8, 2020
Maybe you recently blew through your Netflix queue. Maybe you're just bored. Whatever the case, you need something new to watch and instead of recommending something on Netflix, we're recommending some off-the-wall YouTube channels. From ridiculous robots and epic food challenges to competitive marble racing and slow motion explosions, we found all kinds of weird and entertaining stuff.
Simon Hill
December 1, 2020
Digital Trends
The Google Translate app can translate menus, signs, handwriting, speech, or even text in a photo. We explain all the features and show you how to get started.
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