Google Translate Gains Offline Translation in 52 Languages

googletranslateGoogle's Google Translate app was today updated to version 5.0.0, adding a new feature that allows users to translate words and phrases even when offline in 52 of the 103 languages available in the app. With the offline update, the app remains useful when no cellular or Wi-Fi connection is available, making it ideal for traveling.

Today's update also adds instant camera translation between English and Chinese (Simplified and Traditional), which is useful for reading signs and other content without needing to type words into the app. Instant camera translation is now available in a total of 29 languages and camera mode, which allows users to take pictures of text for higher-quality translations, is available in 37 languages.
What's New
- Offline translation in 52 languages
- Instant camera translation: English to/from Chinese (Simplified and Traditional)
- 13 new languages
Google Translate can be downloaded from the App Store for free. [Direct Link]



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38 months ago
Google Translate and similar apps aren't perfect, and will never be, but they get a bit better each year. The maps and phrasebooks we might have carried around a decade ago are no longer necessary. I find an offline map and an offline translation app to be invaluable when visiting other countries.
Rating: 6 Votes
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38 months ago

Since languages are not changing


I definitely agree with you that it should be open-source, but you're incorrect that languages are not changing.

You know what you call languages when they don't change anymore? Dead.

What's the word for car in Latin? They don't have one, because the language died before cars were invented.

How about cellphone? YOLO? Emoji?

New things are created all the time, and so we have to create new words so that we can talk about the new things. This is why newer dictionaries exist and we don't all just use an English dictionary from hundreds of years ago.
Rating: 3 Votes
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38 months ago

see my reply above, you can continuously update the google translator so that in the year 2616 when people need a dictionary/translator to read a 2016 newspaper, it still works just fine.


Your statement, which you can still edit, or at least concede was incorrect, was "languages do not change". Nobody is arguing with anything else you said.

Although on this note, you're going to want to update the translator a lot more often than once every 600 years. I think once a decade might be safe... but annual or even more often is probably better.
Rating: 2 Votes
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38 months ago

What makes you say they'll never be perfect? Translation is a finite problem... eventually you fix enough bugs/add enough features that there are no bugs to fix/features to add left (which means it's perfect.)

Because natural languages evolve, making them moving targets, because natural languages are full of ambiguities, and also because some phrases and expressions don't have equivalents in other languages. Apps that give you "the translation" can't always be correct. Even if their databases and algorithms let them identify all the subtleties that a human might know, they'd have to give you all possible interpretations and somehow communicate the subtleties to you, or ask you about your intended meaning. Even a human translator would have that problem.

I'm not sure you'd even want an app that requires an interview or a language lesson when you just want to know how to say "I'm down with that" in Hawaiian.
Rating: 2 Votes
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38 months ago
This sounds awesome, much needed for traveling.
Rating: 2 Votes
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25 months ago

For kicks and giggles, try entering a phrase in GT and translate it to German. Then copy that translation in and translate it to French, followed by Italian, and then Spanish. You should then be able to translate the final phrase back into English, identical to what you first entered.

This is one of my favorite results:

That's so off the chain! ---------> For this by its cover!

This is a good experiment, but a bit flaws. "That's so off the chain!" is an incredibly American only expression. It may be said in Canada, but fat chance it'll be said in the UK, NZ or Australia or other English majority countries. Arguably, "fat chance" also falls into this dilemma. The test is more accurate when you stick to grammatically correct, syntax adherent sentences that avoid any national inflections that won't properly translate to another language.

Here's another example:

Bee's Knees = Works fine in a lot of countries, but doesn't translate well into other languages or requires far more words to express itself correctly.

Here's something that's fairly old and mainly UK based:

Easy peasy lemon squeezy.


Say that in the US and you'll get strange looks. Say it in German and you may find yourself institutionalized.
Rating: 1 Votes
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38 months ago
That's awesome! I wonder what size it takes up.
Rating: 1 Votes
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38 months ago
That's pretty amazing. But I do want to remind folks that friends don't let friends use online translators.

For kicks and giggles, try entering a phrase in GT and translate it to German. Then copy that translation in and translate it to French, followed by Italian, and then Spanish. You should then be able to translate the final phrase back into English, identical to what you first entered.

This is one of my favorite results:

That's so off the chain! ---------> For this by its cover!
[doublepost=1462986643][/doublepost]

One of the best inventions. I wish Google would make it somesort of open-source or free for the world.

Since languages are not changing, there is no need to re-invent the wheel and everyone builds his own translator. 1 translator is enough for the whole world.


Of course languages are changing. Have you ever tried to read Chaucer? You need a translator just for that!

What makes you say they'll never be perfect? Translation is a finite problem... eventually you fix enough bugs/add enough features that there are no bugs to fix/features to add left (which means it's perfect.)


You will still miss the nuances that are only learned from context.
Rating: 1 Votes
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38 months ago

What makes you say they'll never be perfect? Translation is a finite problem... eventually you fix enough bugs/add enough features that there are no bugs to fix/features to add left (which means it's perfect.)

No. It's not a finite problem.
Even there are new English words being invented somewhere everyday, and there are virtually countless possible combinations of Chinese characters, either meaningful or not.
Maybe, if we can live infinitely, after couple of centuries, we can see the time Translator goes into perfect.
Rating: 1 Votes
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38 months ago

For kicks and giggles, try entering a phrase in GT and translate it to German. Then copy that translation in and translate it to French, followed by Italian, and then Spanish. You should then be able to translate the final phrase back into English, identical to what you first entered.

This is one of my favorite results:
That's so off the chain! ---------> For this by its cover!


Reminds me of the old anecdotes about computer translations from English -> Russian -> English.

"The spirit is willing but the flesh is weak" --> "The vodka is strong but the meat is rotted"

"Out of sight, out of mind" --> "Invisible, idiot"

Idioms can be difficult :)
Rating: 1 Votes
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