Google is finally making its artificial intelligence-powered translator usable even when there's no internet connection. Until now it was only possible to download Google Translate's dictionaries for offline use, not the app's fancy schmancy AI-based powers.
Google Makes AI-Based Translator Available Offline
The offline dictionaries just don't cut it sometimes. It can get too literal, for one, and it doesn't take into account all the fine-grained nuances of a foreign language. The AI-based translator can, though it's not perfect. When it comes to Spanish and French, it works pretty well, but throw it some Chinese and Russian, probably two of the most complicated languages, and it starts to misstep.
Even still, it's a pretty useful tool for getting around, say, a country whose people doesn't speak your native language. It's sufficient enough to help tourists ask for directions, translate menu items, and decipher other basic blocks of text.
Here's Google describing how its AI-based translations work:
"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."
How To Download Offline Translations
To give the translator a go, open the Google Translate app on Android or iOS. Those who've used it before should see a banner on the home screen that'll enable them to update offline files. Otherwise, go to the offline translation settings and tap the arrow symbol next to a language to download it as a package. It'll then be available for either online or offline use.
Google Translate AI Translations Rollout
Google is initially rolling out 59 languages, including English, German, Hindi, and many others, but it's easy to imagine it'll add more down the line. Each language weighs in at around 35 to 45 MB, so users should make sure there's plenty of storage on their device if they're planning to download a handful of translations. Mid-tier phones, or phones with low specs in general, should be able to use this feature — Google says it wants users in all markets to have access to it.
Nearly everyone should receive the update by June 13, according to Google, and by June 15, it should be fully available.
How's your experience with Google's AI-based translations so far? As always, feel free to sound off in the comments section below!