Launched in 2006, Google Translate is the most popular translation software today. There is barely anyone that hasn't used it by now. It is incorporated into almost every Google ecosystem to make our life easier. Their website translation widget even automatically translates web content into over 100 languages.
Until 2016, Google used statistical machine translation to produce a word-for-word translation. But in 2016, Google Neural Machine Translation (GNMT) was born. Meaning Google Translate switched from SMT to NMT system. The new translation system uses an artificial neural network, enabling the software continuously improve translation quality. GNMT learns from millions of examples to better understand the context and give fluent translations.
Google translate currently allows you to translate text into more than 100 languages. Simply write or copy-paste the content in the web interface, or drag and drop whole documents in the tool. Google Cloud API also enables you to translate 500,000 characters a month for free.
DeepL is an NMT service developed by DeepL GmbH. German businesses use deep learning in developing their machine translation technology. DeepL launched in 2017 to further develop the world's biggest database of human translation - Linguee.
Training the models on Linguee’s data enables DeepL to learn from reliable linguistic sources. Another thing that helps DeepL stand out is the use of AI. Ai enables the software to learn and results in more accurate translations.
DeepL enables you to translate up to 5000 characters per translation in 26 different languages for free. There is also a pro version that enables you to work in teams, translate entire files and create glossaries.
Amazon Translate is a neural machine translation service launched in 2017. Despite its young age, Amazon Translate is already among the most powerful translation tools on the market. It was created to provide fast, high-quality, and customizable language translation at an affordable price.
Unlike Google and DeepL, Amazon does not offer a translation tool for free. To use it, you need an AWS account that will enable you to translate up to 2 million characters a month. You also get access to a wide array of functionalities.
- Custom terminology and active custom translation let you customize your machine-translated output. You can generate translations tailored to your domain-specific needs, brand names, and other unique terms.
- Simple API makes it super easy to translate content on your app or website. TextTranslation API also enables you to instantly translate customer service chat conversations and serve your customers in their local language.
- Deep learning enables the software to produce high-quality and fluent translations in 75 languages. The service supports more than 5500 language combinations, including the least common ones.
Bing Microsoft Translator
Microsoft Translator is a machine translation cloud service integrated into Microsoft’s search engine, Bing. Service is a part of Microsoft Cognitive Services and is integrated across multiple products like Skype Translator, Visual Studio, Microsoft Edge, and more. It supports text translation between 110 languages and relies on NMT. Technology trying to mimic how the brain works to translate between languages.
Today Microsoft Translator is more than a cloud-based automatic translation. One of its most innovative features is a personal universal translator. A feature that enables up to 50 people to have live, multi-device, multi-language, in-person translated conversations.
Another interesting feature is the translation of the most common sentences and expressions. Users can translate most typical questions and statements used in everyday life with only a click.
Systran is the pioneer of machine translation services. Founded in 1968, it is the first company that offered MT for commercial purposes. The company was originally founded to translate records from Russian into English during the Cold War. Today the commercial versions of the technology run on Microsoft Windows, Linux, and the Solaris operating system. Until 2007, even Google used this technology for its language tools.
Systran was and still is on the cutting edge of innovative translation technology. Systran's latest technology is pure neural machine translation (PNMT) which models the entire translation process through an artificial neural network.
Among competitors, Systran is the only machine translation provider trusting the power of the open source community. Systrans share its knowledge and profit from cooperation with OpenNMT, an ecosystem for NMT and neural sequence learning. The company also defines its model of hybrid translation, combining rule-based and statistical machine translation.
Machine translation has reshaped the translation industry. If businesses were relying on human translators only a couple of years ago, this is no longer the case today. Technological advancement pushed machine translation to reach new potential and became a crucial tool in international business.
This does not mean that professional translators are becoming obsolete. MT improves the translation process and changes the role of translators. Translators review and fine-tune the MT output and make sure the content fits its purpose.
Albeit all this advancement, a universal machine translation that fits every use case doesn't exist yet. All five mentioned MT solutions are a good fit for generic translation purposes. This means translating documents, text, content, or even conversations. But to find the one that fits your needs, we advise you to try them all. Trying different MT options will give you a first-hand understanding of how this software can help you improve the translation process.
But what if you want to translate more than just plain text and you want to translate your website? Then, we would suggest you use Weglot or Linguana. Weglot integrates with WordPress, Shopify, and similar platforms to make translating effortless. Post editing features enable you to achieve a high degree of accuracy easily.
For all businesses using Webflow, we suggest Linguana. Linguana is a multi-language SaaS exclusively for Webflow. A perfect solution for fast and accurate translations with SEO in mind. Linguana doesn't just translate your website but helps you get discovered in new markets.
Frequently asked questions
Is Google Translate free?
Google Translate is free and enables you to translate 500,000 characters a month.
How many languages can you translate into with DeepL?
You can translate into 26 languages and between 72 language combinations with DeepL. DeepL enables you to translate in Bulgarian, Chinese, Czech, Danish, Dutch, English, Estonian, Finnish, French, German, Greek, Hungarian, Italian, Japanese, Latvian, Lithuanian, Polish, Portuguese, Romanian, Russian, Slovak, Slovenian, Spanish and Swedish.
Is Amazon Translate free?
Amazon Translate is not free and is billed monthly at $15.00 per million characters. However, Amazon Translate offers a free tier for the 12 months of using the service.