Google Releases Language Translation API

John Musser, March 20th, 2008

As of today, the powerful Google Translate service that lets you translate between 13 different languages and 29 language pairs is now available as a handy JavaScript-based API. Given the breadth of the engine it’s built on, it already supports languages including Russian, Korean, Arabic, Italian, Greek, French and Spanish. It’s a simple but powerful API, given the number of uses this can be put to. Our new Google Translate API profile has more technical details.

As their announcement makes clear, it’s a very easy to use API with two main functions: language detection and language translation. The language translate() function just needs a string to translate, the source and destination languages, and a callback function. The detect() function takes a block of text and a callback.

translateex.png

Since language detection is very hard problem and not always perfect, the API provides two useful properties of a true/falue value “isReliable” and a 0-1.0 “confidence” value which together give an indication of how certain the language detector is in each case.

For some ideas on what uses this can put to, check-out our listing of 7 translation-related mashups in our directory now. These include the mashup shown below, Universal Chat Translator for Skype (download here), a plug-in built on the Skype API that translates chats in real-time:

Note that the API documentation makes it clear there are more features coming before long: “We plan on adding more exciting capabilities to the AJAX Language API in the future, so stay tuned.”

Tags: Google
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29 Responses to “Google Releases Language Translation API”

March 21st, 2008
at 7:40 am
Comment by: Renato

Are there any volume restrictions? could I translate one million words every day?

March 22nd, 2008
at 7:40 am
Comment by: dave

@Renato, I believe you can only translate 500 words per request. I posted about this here.

March 22nd, 2008
at 9:08 am
Comment by: John Musser

@Renato: Good question. I missed it first time around but as dave points out the terms of service say you you will not “submit any request exceeding 500 characters in length, to the translation components of the Service”.

March 23rd, 2008
at 3:50 am
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March 23rd, 2008
at 11:46 am
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April 1st, 2008
at 1:13 am
Comment by: Google’s New Visualization API

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May 18th, 2008
at 9:46 am
Comment by: Cutout

Google’s software will definitely have a problem with complex languages such as Chinese or Japanese because their words are not separated by spaces. They only show one possible translation when really you should be able to choose from multiple options. If you want to learn almost any language in the world, my site can help you.
http://www.google.co.jp/search?q=cutout+japanese+english+cutouttranslations&btnG=%E6%A4%9C%E7%B4%A2&hl=ja&lr=lang_ja&client=firefox-a&rls=org.mozilla%3Aja%3Aofficial&hs=k5L

May 22nd, 2008
at 3:53 am
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May 27th, 2008
at 6:55 am
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June 9th, 2008
at 12:19 pm
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September 21st, 2008
at 11:48 am
Comment by: Quick Online Translator

I have developed Free Online Translation Service page which use Google AJAX Language API. I also used Google AJAX Language API to translate the user interface of Online Translation Service to the following languages: English, Arabic, Bulgarian, Chinese, Croatian, Czech, Danish, Dutch, Finnish, French, German, Greek, Hindi, Italian, Japanese, Korean, Norwegian, Polish, Portuguese, Romanian, Russian, Spanish, Swedish.

January 29th, 2010
at 8:02 am
Comment by: blake gont

Yes, the google do have issues with the complex languages.. we noway understand..

July 22nd, 2010
at 9:32 am
Comment by: Catalin

I’ve used Google translation API in http://www.sms-translator.net, but I don’t know how to call “contribute” functions…

September 6th, 2010
at 2:29 am
Comment by: Translation Agency

Free online translation software have a major problem, that is accuracy. When we start Chinese, Japanese and Arabic language translation through these free online tools. Their language conversion accuracy is very poor compare to human language translation, their also change meaning of sentence.

October 19th, 2010
at 8:09 am
Comment by: Parthosarathi

I really like this idea. We are offering professional translations services

November 23rd, 2010
at 3:40 am
Comment by: Translation Services

very nice article
We are one of the Translation company in Delhi,India
http://www.languageconsultancyservices.com/

December 6th, 2010
at 10:21 am
Comment by: Ben

I’d like to add speech to http://www.mobile-translator.net , but Google Language API doesn’t contain any speech function.

January 12th, 2011
at 9:13 am
Comment by: Anna

Google translation API is great, but sometimes a human translation is needed to avoid problems. At http://www.live-translator.net you can have both.

January 14th, 2011
at 10:10 pm
Comment by: Zain Shaikh

I have used this API in C# but I never tried out the javascript one. thanks for the post.

April 18th, 2011
at 12:18 pm
Comment by: tonikurtz

Why i can’t install OnTranslator on my macbook? Can’t understand what the problem. Does anyone uses that translator?

April 20th, 2011
at 8:45 am
Comment by: penerjemah tersumpah

I’ve tried many times, but has not been successful and hard at all, what is wrong. why? thanks for the information

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at 10:05 am
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