On April 28, 2006, Google’s Statistical Machine Translation (MT) completing its six years of launch. “In the past six years since then we’ve focused primarily on core translation quality and language coverage. We can now translate among any of 64 different languages, including many with a small web presence, such as Bengali, Basque, Swahili, Yiddish, even Esperanto,” posted Franz Och, Distinguished Research Scientist, Google Translate.
“Today we have more than 200 million monthly active users on translate.google.com (and even more in other places where you can use Translate, such as Chrome, mobile apps, YouTube, etc.),” Och said.
“People also seem eager to access Google Translate on the go (the language barrier is never more acute than when you’re traveling)–we’ve seen our mobile traffic more than quadruple year over year. And our users are truly global: more than 92 percent of our traffic comes from outside the United States,” adds Och.
“In a given day we translate roughly as much text as you’d find in 1 million books.”
“What all the professional human translators in the world produce in a year, our system translates in roughly a single day. By this estimate, most of the translation on the planet is now done by Google Translate. (We can’t speak for the galaxy; Douglas Adams’s “Babel fish” probably has us beat there.),” he said.
Och concludes the post saying, “We imagine a future where anyone in the world can consume and share any information, no matter what language it’s in, and no matter where it pops up. We already provide translation for webpages on the fly as you browse in Chrome, text in mobile photos, YouTube video captions, and speech-to-speech “conversation mode” on smartphones. We want to knock down the language barrier wherever it trips people up, and we can’t wait to see what the next six years will bring.”