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On-device AI will help you Google Translate when offline

Relaxnews (AFP) logoRelaxnews (AFP) 14/6/2018

Offline translations may come in handy when traveling in a foreign country. © Provided by AFPRelaxNews Offline translations may come in handy when traveling in a foreign country. Whether lost in Hong Kong's crowds or sitting in a Parisian café without any internet, Google Translate's offline version can more accurately get your point across with on-device AI. 

Neural Machine Translation (NMT) technology is what helps users make sense when trying to directly translate expressions and phrases from their native language to that of another. Previously only available on the online version, Google Translate this week announced that NMT is now able to run directly from users' devices, whether Android or iOS.

An offline mode of Google Translate isn't exactly new, it's been helping those traveling abroad for a while now -- but with limited accuracy. However, the technology that provides more accurate translations to the online version is now available to those with limited or no connectivity. This is particularly useful for those without a data plan when on holiday in a country that speaks a language that you don't know.

“The neural system translates whole sentences at a time, rather than piece by piece. 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. This makes translated paragraphs and articles a lot smoother and easier to read” explains the announcement.

For improved accuracy, both online and offline, Google advises following a few simple steps. Once the Google Translate app is open, click on the banner that should appear on the home screen to update offline files.

Anyone just hearing about the offline version now and interested in making use of it can head over to the offline translation settings and click on the arrow next to whichever language is desired to download the package.

Google is rolling out the update in 59 languages over the next few days.

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