Two years ago Google Translate introduced the feature of Offline Translation, along with the addition of neural machine system to improve the accuracy of Google’s online translation. At that time the offline translations were phrase-based, and poorer than the online ones that use the machine learning-powered systems in the cloud.
Now Google is rolling out the offline neural machine translation (NMT) support for up to 59 languages in its Translate apps. Powered with on-device artificial intelligence, Google Translate for iOS and Android can provide high-quality translations with the downloaded offline languages when users don’t have access to an Internet connection.
According to the search giant, the NMT technology “uses broader context to help determine the most relevant translation, which it then rearranges and adjusts to sound more like a real person speaking with proper grammar”. Instead of translating piece by piece, the NMT system can translate whole sentences at a time, and as a result, the translated paragraphs and articles will be more smoother and easier to read.
Here’s the full list of the 59 languages Google Translate supports now:
Afrikaans, Albanian, Arabic, Belarusian, Bengali, Bulgarian, Catalan, Chinese, Croatian, Czech, Danish, Dutch, English, Esperanto, Estonian, Filipino, Finnish, French, Galician, Georgian, German, Greek, Gujarati, Haitian, Creole, Hebrew, Hindi, Hungarian, Icelandic, Indonesian, Irish, Italian, Japanese, Jannada, Korean, Latvian, Lithuanian, Macedonian, Malay, Maltese, Marathi, Norwegian, Persian, Polish, Portuguese, Romanian, Russian, Slovak, Slovenian, Spanish, Swahili, Swedish, Tamil, Telugu, Thai, Turkish, Ukrainian, Urdu, Vietnamese and Welsh
Each language set takes up about 35-45 MB of storage space, which is not too much. To download the offline languages on your device, follow the steps below:
- Connect your device to a Wi-Fi network, and open the Translate app.
- Tap the Language on either side of the screen or at the top.
- Tap Download icon next to the language you want to download.
- Tap Download again when asked to download the language file.
As the download is complete, you will see the Downloaded icon next to the language.
If you wish to download the language using your data plan, tap Menu > Setting > Data Usage > Download Offline Translation Files > Use Wi-Fi or Mobile Network.
Google Translate also lets you translate between 103 languages by typing, translate text in images instantly by pointing your camera (38 languages), translate bilingual conversations on the fly (32 languages), take or import photos for higher quality translations (37 languages), and more. It is quite possible that the NMT update, which will be released over the next few days, should also work for “low-end” phones.