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-Patents-July-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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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.

translate Stories July 3, 2014

Google testing new & improved Translate tool directly in search results

While it’s not appearing for all users, Google appears to be testing its Translate tool directly in search results. Specific search results for translations such as “Hola in english” already presented users with the answer directly above search results, but now search queries like “translate” “translation” and “translate tool”— which most users search for when looking for translation services— present a redesigned translate tool (pictured above) where users can enter text and adjust languages right from the search results page.

It’s unclear if this is just a test or something Google plans to roll out more broadly, but it’s certainly something that other translation services might not be all too pleased with. The first search result below the new tool is most often “Google Translate”, as it was before the roll out of the new translate tool in search results.

Google told us it’s “always working on improvements to our products.” 

translate Stories November 20, 2013

Google today announced that it’s releasing an all-new Google Translate app for Android. The app features a new design, adds support for additional languages, and introduces some interesting new features to make translations even faster.

The app now makes it easy to have translated conversation with someone at the tap of a button and also adds gesture support for quickly switching between languages: expand full story

translate Stories August 20, 2013

Google rolling out translation feature in Google+

Google’s Staff Research Scientist Ed Chi first announced on his Google+ last night that the company is rolling our a new translation feature directly in Google+. The Google Translate integration means posts and comments on Google+ will now include a “Translate” link for text that isn’t in the user’s language:

Whenever there’s a public post or comment that isn’t in your language, you’ll now see a “Translate” link underneath the text. Clicking the link translates the text in-line, and clicking again returns to the original. (You can set/check your language prefences here: www.google.com/settings/account ).

Chi says the new feature is rolling out to Google+ on the desktop gradually.

translate Stories August 15, 2013

Google Translate for Android updated w/ more languages for camera input translation & handwriting

Google announced today on Google+ that its updating its Google Translate app for Android with additional language support for two features including camera input translation and handwriting.

New languages for camera input translation, which allows users to take translate text capture with the device’s camera, include “Afrikaans, Greek, Hebrew and Serbian.” Google notes that the update brings the total number of supported languages supported for the camera translations feature to 34.

Simply tap the camera button, point at the text you want translated and take the picture, and brush over the text you want with your finger—in an instant you’ll see your translation.

The updated app also includes support handwriting characters in two additional languages: Hindi and Thai. That brings the total number of supported languages to 48.

The new version of Google Translate for Android is available for free on Google Play now.

translate Stories May 8, 2013

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Google has updated its Android Translate app with a new Phrasebook feature to store some translated phrases that users want to keep quickly accessible. Phrasebook can easily sync via your Google Account’s login credentials.

When you’re traveling in another country, you want quick access to your favorite translated phrases—whether it’s “Where can I find a museum?” or “Do you know where the bathroom is?” Google Translate lets you save these translations in your Phrasebook, but you still could not easily access them on the go from your phone or tablet. Starting today, you can automatically sync the phrases in your Phrasebook to your Android device using the Google Translate mobile app, so you can carry your most useful phrases with you wherever you go.

 Additionally, Google has added support for 16 new languages for camera-input translations.

Last but not least, this latest release of Google Translate for Android sees a significant improvement to the camera-input feature. You can now use camera-input to find translations in 16 additional languages: Bulgarian, Catalan, Danish, Estonian, Finnish, Croatian, Hungarian, Indonesian, Icelandic, Lithuanian, Latvian, Norwegian, Romanian, Slovak, Slovenian, and Swedish.

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Google Translate adds support for 5 new languages

Google announced on its blog today that it is adding support for 5 new languages in Google Translate that combined are spoken by over 183 million people worldwide. The new languages, which include Bosnian, Cebuano, Hmong, Javanese, and Marathi  bring Google Translate up to a total of more than 70 languages.

The five new languages are still in alpha (apart from Bosnian) but Google promised to “to test and improve them over time.”

-Bosnian is an official language in Bosnia and Herzegovina that’s also spoken in regions of neighboring countries and by diaspora communities around the world.

-Cebuano is one of the languages spoken in the Philippines, predominantly in the middle (Visayas) and southern (Mindanao) regions of the nation.

You can hear the Hmong language spoken in many countries across the world, including China, Vietnam, Laos, Thailand and throughout the United States.

-Javanese is the second most-spoken language in Indonesia (behind Indonesian), with 83 million native speakers.

-Marathi is spoken in India and has 73 million native speakers. Google Translate already supports several other Indian languages: Bengali, Gujarati, Hindi, Kannada, Tamil, Telugu and Urdu.

 

 

translate Stories March 27, 2013

Google announced an update today to Google Translate for Android that brings an extremely useful feature for those who are traveling or in need of translations when without an Internet connection. Starting today, the updated Android app will now allow users running devices on Android 2.3 and up to access the service using downloadable offline language packages.

Google noted that there are currently around 50 languages available for offline use and detailed how to download the necessary packages through the app:

You can select [Offline Languages] in the app menu to see all the offline language packages available for download. To enable offline translation between any two languages, you just need to select them in the offline languages menu. Once the packages are downloaded, you’re good to go.

While the languages packages provide everything you need to get quick translations when offline, Google warned that the offline modes are “less comprehensive than their online equivalents” without explaining in detail.

Users of the updated app will also now be able to translate vertical text for Japanese, Chinese, and Korean—using their device’s camera.

The updated Google Translate app for Android is available now through Google Play.

translate Stories March 14, 2013

Google-Translate-Phrasebook

There were hints late last month that Google was planning on adding new features to Google Translate and today the company announced a new feature for the service called Phrasebook. Rather than having to translate the same words and phrases time and time again, Phrasebook allows users to save a set of translations for quick and easy access. Google explained how the features works:

It’s easy to start using Phrasebook. Simply click the star under the translated text to save the translation in your Phrasebook. To view your Phrasebook, simply click the Phrasebook icon above the upper-right corner of the box containing the translation.

Click any phrase in your Phrasebook to load it back in the translation area. Using the Phrasebook controls, you can filter your phrases by language pair or search for a specific phrase. You can also easily listen to each phrase by hovering over the entry and selecting the text-to-speech icons.

Google could soon be adding more features to Translate as last month hints were discovered that Google is working on an option to select a dialect for certain languages in its text-to-speech feature within Google Translate. There were also additional dictionary features that have yet to be implemented.

translate Stories May 3, 2012

[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=FrEzKtjKVio]

There are more than a few tools online to help you learn a new language, but none are as effective as immersing yourself in another country’s language by actually traveling there. Since we all do not have the time to do so, Google’s Creative Lab is providing a similar immersive experience through a new Chrome extension that employs the Google Translate API for translating certain text on any given webpage.

Available through the Google Chrome store, Google teamed up Use All Five to create the “Language Immersion for Chrome” extension and to currently provide options for translating a page into a mix of “Frenglish, Spanglish or even Tagaloglish.” However, all 64 languages supported by Google Translate are available. You can also roll over words to hear them pronounced, or click them to translate to English.

Within the extension, you will be able to filter the level of immersion with a sliding scale going from “Novice” to “Fluent” as you become more comfortable with any given language. A video demo of the extension in action is above. expand full story

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