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Google Translate Is Used By 200 Million Users Every Month

Sites include . Published on May 11th, 2012. Written by Anthony West.

No other company online does “free” like Google and for every paid service, the tech giant uses its leverage to offer powerful and functional alternatives. One such alternative is Google Translate, a service that lets users translate from one language to virtually every other kind of language on multiple platforms and environments.

Now Google is reporting that the service gets around 200 million active users each month with the bulk of those users emanating from outside the US. This is hardly surprising, since a lot of translation requests will be from non-English to English. What is surprising though is the usage rates on mobile devices. According to Google, many of the 200 million requests are done via mobile devices like the iPhone and of course, Android powered devices.

Charting the six year growth of Translate, Franz Och, principal scientist at Google gave some insight into a few of the challenges as well as the breakthroughs. According to Och, “But at that time [early launch] our system was too slow to run as a practical service—it took us 40 hours and 1,000 machines to translate 1,000 sentences, So we focused on speed, and a year later our system could translate a sentence in under a second, and with better quality. In early 2006, we rolled out our first languages: Chinese, then Arabic.”

Google Translate is so powerful and accurate that it probably trumps many of the paid services out there. And Google shows once again how it is able to leverage its talent and capital to dominate entire markets.

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1 Responses »

  1. Amongst many other of their products, I use Google Translate every week.

    Although it is a useful service and it is fast, there is one thing it is not and that is accurate, at least if you intend the word to mean correct in every detail.

    Just like their search engine, it is quite good at what it does but it is a long way from perfect and there is definitely room for improvement, whether that improvement is brought to us by Google itself or a replacement.

    We tend to think of Google as all powerful but in fact it is a long way short of that and vulnerable to competition. It is also incredibly poor at customer support, which is probably one of the main reasons it is so profitable.

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