Google Translate Blog
The official source for news on Google's translation technologies
Translating patents with the European Patent Office
Wednesday, February 29, 2012
, we signed an agreement with the European Patent Office (EPO) to break down linguistic barriers and improve the machine translation of patents. Today, we’ve released an update to our Google Translate system that incorporates the EPO’s parallel patent texts and allows translation between English and French, German, Spanish, Italian, Portuguese and Swedish.
This improved system is now part of the EPO’s
service, and goes under the name Patent Translate. Espacenet provides free access to millions of patent documents worldwide - and its users can use Patent Translate to read patents from around the world in their own language. Here’s a video that shows how it works:
Using the EPO’s parallel texts, we’ve been able to improve our ability to translate patents, as the following examples show:
Source: une tête d'impression pour diriger une encre polymérisable par rayonnement vers un substrat reçu sur le support
Old translation: a print head to direct a radiation curable ink to a substrate on the support received
New translation: a print head for directing radiation polymerisable ink to a substrate received on the support
Source: The crystals supply the required ultrasonic vibration needed to drive both the horn and the attached cutting tip during phacoemulsification and are controlled by the console.
Old translation: I cristalli di fornire la vibrazione necessaria ad ultrasuoni necessari per guidare sia il corno e la punta di sezionamento annesso durante facoemulsificazione e sono controllati dalla console.
New translation: I cristalli forniscono la vibrazione ultrasonica richiesta necessaria per pilotare sia il corno e la punta da taglio allegata durante la facoemulsificazione e sono controllati dalla console.
We share a similar vision to the EPO, that machine translation can help to overcome language barriers - and help to make the information contained in patents universally accessible and useful. While the improved system is pretty good, machine translation is a challenging computer science problem and does not always deliver perfect results. But it can be a very useful way for people to search and read patents that aren’t written in their language.
We’re excited to continue our collaboration with the EPO. We look forward to adding more languages - and showing how this public-private partnership will further improve access to patents for people around the world.
Posted by Jeff Chin, Product Manager, Google Translate
An easier way to type in Japanese, Vietnamese, and Hebrew
Monday, February 27, 2012
Knowing what you want to translate is sometimes only half the battle. You may have a letter from your secret admirer sitting in front of you, but if you can’t type the words into Google Translate the meaning can remain elusive.
Typing in languages which use different character sets can be a frustrating problem in computer labs, internet cafés, and sometimes even on home computers if standard
Latin alphabet keyboards
are the only option available.
To make typing in these languages easier we began including
input methods in Google Translate last year, and we’ve been working to expand that support over time. Today we’re happy to announce three major additions to our input methods: Japanese, Vietnamese, and Hebrew language support.
To use transliteration input methods, just select the ‘Allow phonetic typing’ option when typing in Google Translate.
Since releasing transliteration support for these languages a few days ago, we’ve noticed significant improvements in the the speed of input (for instance, Vietnamese text input has become 20% faster with the new input method) which we hope to see translate into a better experience for everyone.
Keep an eye out over the next few months as we add support for more languages.
Would you like to use Google’s transliteration input methods or virtual keyboards across the whole web? Try out our
, which includes transliteration for over 20 languages and virtual keyboards for 70 more.
Posted by C. Andrew Warren, Associate Product Manager, Internationalization Team
Tutmonda helplingvo por ĉiuj homoj
Wednesday, February 22, 2012
Today, we are adding Esperanto to Google Translate, making it our 64th supported language.
Ludovic Lazarus Zamenhof
started his quest for an easy-to-learn language shared by all people in the 1870s and first published the ideas in 1887 with his book
. The concept of a common language spread quickly, and initial reactions to Esperanto have ranged from suppression to enthusiastic embrace. Now, 125 years later, Esperanto has hundreds of thousands of active speakers, millions of people with some knowledge of the language, and even a few hundred people who learned it from birth, taught by their parents.
Esperanto and Google Translate share the goal of helping people understand each other, this connection has been made even in
this blog post
. Therefore, we are very excited that we can now offer translation for this language as well.
The Google Translate team was actually surprised about the high quality of machine translation for Esperanto. As we know from many experiments, more training data (which in our case means more existing translations) tends to yield better translations. For Esperanto, the number of existing translations is comparatively small. German or Spanish, for example, have more than 100 times the data; other languages on which we focus our research efforts have similar amounts of data as Esperanto but don’t achieve comparable quality yet. Esperanto was constructed such that it is easy to learn for humans, and this seems to help automatic translation as well.
Although the system is still far from perfect, we hope that our latest addition helps you to learn more about Esperanto’s history and culture. Translation to and from Esperanto will soon be available on
, in our mobile web app, and in the Google Translate app for Android and iOS.
Posted by Thorsten Brants, Research Scientist, Google Translate
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