10-year-old Google Translate goes through 100 billion words a day


Google Translate was introduced to the world 10 years ago. The service has reached a point that it translates over 100 billion words a day. Launched initially with support for 2 languages, it manages to translate between 103 languages in 2016.

Google Translate bridges the basic barrier between cultures and regions — language. Over time, it has made translation as simple as clicking a picture. While the most common translations are between English and Spanish, Arabic, Russian, Portuguese and Indonesian, Google has been adding Indian languages at an increasing rate to attract more users from various regions of the country. It already supports 9 out of the 22 official Indian languages.

“In addition to common phrases like “I love you,” we also see people looking for translations related to current events and trends. For instance, last year we saw a big spike in translations for the word “selfie,” and this past week, translations for “purple rain” spiked by more than 25,000 percent,” said Google.

A few lesser known features of Google Translate are its ability to work offline and ability to act as a translator. “In 2011, we first introduced the ability to have a bilingual conversation on Google Translate. The app will recognize which language is being spoken when you’re talking with someone, allowing you to have a natural conversation in 32 languages,” said Google.

At the centre of Google’s translation prowess isn’t some smart algorithm, but a community of contributors. “So far, 3.5 million people have made 90 million contributions through the Translate Community, helping us improve and add new languages to Google Translate. A few properly translated sentences can make a huge difference when faced with a foreign language or country. By reviewing, validating and recommending translations, we’re able to improve the Google Translate on a daily basis,” said Google.

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