When I was in high school, one of my favorites classes was Spanish. I loved learning the language, talking with classmates in Spanish, and being a member of the Spanish Club. It didn’t hurt that my best friend was in Spanish class with me.
We were so interested in languages that our Spanish teacher (who also taught German) offered to teach us German during lunch hour.
My best friend and I agreed. For two semesters, we spent our lunch hour learning German, in Spanish.
You read that correctly.
Our Spanish teacher taught us German in Spanish. In order for me to translate German to English, I had to go through the Spanish translation first.
As you might guess, my Spanish improved a lot in those German classes.
To this day, I’ve stayed fascinating with learning other languages and about other cultures.
So when I first heard about Google Translate’s app, where you can point your camera at something written in another language and get an instant translation, I was thrilled.
Take a picture of the text you want translated, and see the text display on your screen in the other language, in real-time.
And you don’t need an Internet connection or smartphone data plan for it to work.
What a fun way to help you translate words, signs, and news when you’re traveling in another country.
Translate Text in 27 Languages with Google Translate
Today, Google Translate announced it’s expanding support from seven languages (English, French, German, Italian, Portuguese, Russian, and Spanish) to 27 languages.
You can now translate to and from English and Bulgarian, Catalan, Croatian, Czech, Danish, Dutch, Filipino, Finnish, Hungarian, Indonesian, Lithuanian, Norwegian, Polish, Romanian, Slovak, Swedish, Turkish, and Ukrainian.
To translate another language, open the Google Translate app. Set “English” and the other language you want to translate, and select the camera button. You’ll be prompted to download a language pack (about 2MB) for each language.
Check out how their development team tested Google Translate:
How Google Translate Works on a Device With No Connection
According to Google’s announcement, they’re using deep neural nets involving convolutional neural networks and heavily optimized math operations to
…fit processing into all levels of cache memory.
When Google Translate app receives an image, it first looks for letters in the picture, and “weeds out” background objects.
Once it’s recognized the letters, Google Translate uses deep learning to recognize what each letter is. After identifying all the letters of a word, Google Translate looks up each word in a dictionary to get a translation.
To work on a mobile phone without a connection, they developed a small neural net and optimized math operations to use the mobile processor Single instruction, multiple data (SIMD) instructions.
Learn more about how Google Translate works, letter recognition, algorithms, and rendering in how Google Translate squeezes deep learning onto a phone.
Have you used Google Translate?