Google Translate Continues to Improve

September 10, 2019

Google Translate is a handy tool, imperfect though it may be. Google made some cosmetic changes to the UI earlier this year, and now is rolling more substantial improvements. Pakistan’s Technology Times reports, “Google AI Translation Adds 60 New Languages.” Not only are more languages, from Afrikanns to Zulu, now included, the translate-images function has gotten a boost. Writer Sayyed Shehzer Abbas tells us:

“The prevalent tech giant Google is rolling out a significant update to the camera feature on its Translate app. The new version of the app adds support for 60 new languages. It’s great news for regular users of Google Translate, where the camera feature is fantastically useful for translating things like menus and signs. Key to the update is the integration of Google’s AI translation methods, known as neural machine translation (NMT). These models have been incorporated into Google Lens and the web version of Translate, but they are now supporting instant camera translation, too.

We noted these languages:

New languages supported in the update include: Afrikaans, Arabic, Bengali, Estonian, Greek, Hindi, Igbo, Javanese, Kurdish, Latin, Latvian, Malay, Mongolian, Nepali, Pashto, Persian, Samoan, Sesotho, Slovenian, Swahili, Thai, Vietnamese, Welsh, Xhosa, Yoruba, Urdu and Zulu.

We learned:

“The updated version of the Google translate app will also automatically detect what language it’s looking at, which is handy if you’re traveling in a region where multiple languages are common.”

The write-up emphasizes the importance of language translation to companies like Google. It has become a benchmark for evaluating an enterprise’s AI capabilities, and it underpins software many have come to rely on, like AI assistance, commerce, and social media. Will Translate put Google ahead of the competition?

Cynthia Murrell, September 10, 2019

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