Tuesday 15 October 2019

Google Translate app can now translate Irish into 100 languages - by just pointing your phone

Photo: João Nogueira
Photo: João Nogueira
Adrian Weckler

Adrian Weckler

Google’s Translate app can now translate Irish into 100 languages instantly by pointing your phone's camera at a sign or sentence 'as Gaeilge'.

The system works in real time, meaning that you see the translation instantly on your phone screen. It also works when your phone is offline if you download the language beforehand.

Irish is one of 89 languages now supported. It means that any Irish phrase on a billboard, page or street sign can be instantly translated into languages as diverse as Japanese, Portugese, German and Mandarin.

The process also works the other way, translating those languages into Irish instantly.

The system works by using what Google calls Neural Machine Translation technology. This is built into instant camera translations, which produces more accurate and natural translations and reduces errors by between 55pc and 85pc in certain language pairs, according to Google.

The company says that most of the languages can be downloaded onto your device, so that you can use the feature without an internet connection. Downloads are typically around 30MB in size, roughy the same size as 10 to 20 full resolution photos.

However, when your device is connected to the internet, the feature uses that connection to produce higher quality translations.

A language ‘auto detect’ function has also been added. If you select ‘detect language’ as the source language, the Translate app will automatically detect the language and translate.

The Translate app is free and available from the iOS App Store and Google Play Store.

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