Google Translate on-device AI update improves offline translations

Google Translate rolling out downloadable AI-powered offline translators

The technology is now being brought offline, and will run in the Google Translate app directly on Android or iOS devices. In case you weren't already familiar, Google's online translations already make use of neural machine translation (NMT).

Cattiau says said the team rebuilt Google Translate from the ground up within the past year and a half, which resulted in a "more flawless technology" than what they had build over the previous decade of Google Translate's existence.

This system works better because it translates sentences in their entirety instead of doing things piece by piece which creates a more accurate picture of a translation instead of the janky half-translations that float around in internet memes.

"It 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", Cattiau says in a blog post.

As a result, translated sentences are easier to understand, while whole paragraphs and articles are "smoother". However, this time the language set is stored locally in files between 35MB and 45MB in size, to not take up a lot of space on your handset.

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Cattiau went to places like India and Indonesia, where Google Translate sees the heaviest use (Google says 90 percent of the service's translations are done outside the United States).

In an example, Google shows how the AI translation can make a difference.

The NMT update will be rolled out in 59 languages over the next few days, Google said.

Translation apps can be incredibly useful tools when you need quick guidance on translating a phrase or word from one language to another, but tools like Google Translate often fall short when you're travelling and can't get online.

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