translate Stories October 14, 2015

Google Translate adds iPad Split View, printed text translations for more languages

Google is rolling out a couple notable updates to its Google Translate apps that adds additional languages for translations of printed text and support for the new Split View app mode on iPads.

translate Stories July 29, 2015

Google Translate app instant visual translation adds 20 languages

If you travel internationally, you’re well aware that Google Translate’s visual translation features — which originated as the Word Lens app — are invaluable. Today, Google announced that the app has added support for 20 new languages, bringing the total up to 27.

Today, we’re updating the Google Translate app again—expanding instant visual translation to 20 more languages (for a total of 27!), and making real-time voice translations a lot faster and smoother—so even more people can experience the world in their language.

The app originally supported English, French, German, Italian, Portuguese, Russian and Spanish.

As of today, you can now translate to and from Bulgarian, Catalan, Croatian, Czech, Danish, Dutch, Filipino, Finnish, Hungarian, Indonesian, Lithuanian, Norwegian, Polish, Romanian, Slovak, Swedish, Turkish and Ukrainian. You can also do one-way translations from English to Hindi and Thai.

translate Stories July 16, 2015

Google is launching a new version of Google Patents today, its web app that lets anyone search for references in patents to better assess if their own invention or patent application is already covered by another. expand full story

translate Stories June 25, 2015

Google Translate will slow down its text-to-speech on second listen

Noticed by a tipster speaking to the (unofficial) Chrome Operating System blog, Google Translate, the multilingual translation tool, has a neat way of converting text translations to speech.

Translate’s text-to-speech function can be used on both the original text and the translated version of the inputted text, which can be helpful when you’re not quite sure how to pronounce a phrase out loud. But maybe you’re trying to get the pronunciation exactly as its spoken by the text-to-speech and you’re having trouble hearing it clearly. I know I’ve experienced that before. Interestingly, the team behind the product seems to have recognized this frustration and programmed the function to slow down its enunciation when you click “Listen” a second time for the same text. Clicking it a third time consecutively will enunciate at the original speed, however.

This seems like something that would be cool to be able to explicitly toggle on and off, rather than simply alternating like it does now. A nice detail nonetheless, however.

translate Stories January 11, 2015

The New York Times reports today that Google is preparing an update to its mobile Translate app that will include real-time detection and translation of spoken foreign languages. The online service recently got an upgrade to support a total of 90 languages.

The app will also reportedly gain the ability to use the camera to translate foreign signs in the real world. An exact timeline for when the update will roll out wasn’t given, but the Times says that most Android devices currently running the application will be able to use the new version as well.

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Deal: Get Pixelbook at 25% off: $750!

translate Stories December 12, 2014

Ten new languages added to Google Translate, bringing the total to 90

Google has added 10 new languages to its Google Translate service, increasing the total number of languages supported to 90.

These 10 new languages will allow more than 200 million additional people to translate text to and from their native languages. These languages are available now on translate.google.com and will roll out soon to our mobile apps and to the built-in translation functionality in Chrome.  

Google says that it is “just getting started” with the new languages – which span Africa, India, Southeast Asia and Central Asia – and is inviting people to use the Improve this translation link to suggest corrections and improvements. It is also encouraging feedback through the community site it launched in July.

The languages, with quick briefings by Google, are:

  • Chichewa (Chinyanja) is spoken by 12 million people in Malawi and surrounding countries. It is one of 55 languages used in the greetings that now travel the galaxy on the Voyager interstellar probes.
  • Malagasy is spoken by 18 million people in Madagascar, where it is the national language. It is one of only a few languages which puts the verb first in sentences, followed by the object and then the subject.
  • Sesotho has 6 million native speakers. It is the national language of Lesotho and one of 11 official languages in South Africa.
  • Malayalam (മലയാളം), with 38 million native speakers, is a major language in India and one of that country’s 6 classical languages. It’s been one of the most-requested languages, so we are especially excited to add Malayalam support!
  • Myanmar (Burmese, မြန်မာစာ) is the official language of Myanmar with 33 million native speakers. Myanmar language has been in the works for a long time as it’s a challenging language for automatic translation, both from language structure and font encoding perspectives. While our system understands different Myanmar inputs, we encourage the use of open standards and therefore only output Myanmar translations in Unicode.
  • Sinhala (සිංහල) is one of the official languages of Sri Lanka and natively spoken by 16 million people. In September the local community in Sri Lanka organized Sinhala Translate Week, and since then, participants have contributed tens of thousands of translations to our system. We’re happy to be able to release Sinhala as one of the new languages today!
  • Sundanese (Basa Sunda) is spoken on the island of Java in Indonesia by 39 million people. While Sundanese does have its own script, it is today commonly written using the Latin alphabet, which is what our system uses.
  • Kazakh (Қазақ тілі) with 11 million native speakers in Kazakhstan. We’ve received strong support from Kazakh language enthusiasts, and we hope to continue collaborating with the local communities in the region to add even more languages in the future, including Kyrgyz.
  • Tajik (Тоҷикӣ), a close relative to modern Persian, is spoken by more than 4 million people in Tajikistan and beyond.
  • Uzbek (Oʻzbek tili) is spoken by 25 million people in Uzbekistan. In addition to receiving Uzbek community support, we’ve incorporated the Uzbek dictionary by Shavkat Butaev into our system.

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