Google Helping Refine How Computers 'Read' Language

By Todd R. Weiss  |  Posted 2014-05-02 Print this article Print

In November 2013, Google made its Google Translate language translation app for Android faster and expanded its coverage to several additional foreign languages, including Malay and Ukranian.

The Translate app, which was introduced in 2010, allows users to speak into an Android device to get a translation into another language, or to use a built-in handwriting feature to get translations. Those capabilities are useful for travelers when they are in places where non-native languages are spoken.

The latest version of Google Translate includes more language support for the built-in handwriting feature, which now gives users the ability to directly write words in Hebrew, Javanese and Esperanto on their devices so they can be translated on the fly. Users can also employ the camera translation feature to take a photo of written text with an Android device and then highlight the words they'd like to be translated.

Translate supports translations for more than 80 languages, including Afrikaans, Albanian, Arabic, Armenian, Azerbaijani, Basque, Belarusian, Bengali, Bosnian, Bulgarian, Catalan, Cebuano, Chinese (Simplified), Chinese (Traditional), Croatian, Czech, Danish, Dutch, English, Esperanto, Estonian, Filipino, Finnish, French, Galician, Georgian, German, Greek and Gujarati, according to Google.

Other languages supported are Haitian Creole, Hebrew, Hindi, Hmong, Hungarian, Icelandic, Indonesian, Irish, Italian, Japanese, Javanese, Kannada, Khmer, Korean, Lao, Latin, Latvian, Lithuanian, Macedonian, Malay, Maltese, Marathi, Norwegian, Persian, Polish, Portuguese, Romanian, Russian, Serbian, Slovak, Slovenian, Spanish, Swahili, Swedish, Tamil, Telugu, Thai, Turkish, Ukrainian, Urdu, Vietnamese, Welsh and Yiddish.

Earlier in November 2013, Google launched inexpensive language translation services for Android app developers to help them get their apps translated so they can sell them in other countries. The costs of the new service are expected to range from about $75 for a small app to about $150 for a large app for each language translation.


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