People use Google Translate a whole lot—we translate over 100 billion words a day! However, in the past, our translation systems have generally been better at making sense of government and business documents than in helping people casually communicate.

But that’s all changing thanks to people like you and a recent update we rolled out. So the next time you translate informal speech in Google Translate, you might just find a better translation. Here's an example of how it’s improved:
So how exactly are people like you impacting Google Translate? Well, with Translate Community hundreds of thousands of people have generously donated their time in service of cross-language communication. It’s fun and really easy: tell us what languages you speak; choose to either see a phrase and translate it on your own or correct current translations already in the system. Based on translations from the community, we will incorporate corrections and over time learn the language a little better.

There’s a whole lot more work to do, but with more help from everyday people through Translate Community, we can continue to improve the 90 languages we already speak and keep adding more.

During the Translate Community: Google I/O Challenge nearly 2.5 million phrases or about 12 million words were translated and validated by participants during Google I/O and beyond. From Afrikaans to Zulu, we saw approximately 75,000 people representing all of the 117 languages available in Google Translate Community take the lead and improve Google Translate for the languages they speak.
Some of the top contributing languages were what you might expect based on the number of speakers of each language; Spanish, Russian, French and Portuguese led the way through the challenge and languages like Bengali and Vietnamese notably moved their way up the rankings.
Of the languages that are not yet in Google Translate, Kyrgyz speakers shined the brightest with nearly 40,000 phrases translated and validated during the challenge. The Kyrgyz community has continued to plan events and rally to help add their language to Google Translate.

Thank you to the I/O Extended event organizers, Google Developer Groups and everyone who contributed to improving their language in Google Translate throughout this 10-day-challenge. We're excited to continue to work together in improving Google Translate.

For the last 10 months, multilingual users around the world have flocked to the Google Translate Community to help improve their language(s) on Google Translate through translating and validating common phrases.

Since launch, we've seen some amazing contributions, from Kyrgyz speakers who are getting us closer to adding their language to Google Translate, to Bengali speakers who organized 80 translate-a-thon events, significantly increasing translation quality for their language.
Translate Community: Google I/O Challenge (May 26 - June 5, 2015)
Now, we're challenging all Google I/O attendees (onsite and offsite!) to represent your language(s) during the Translate Community: I/O Challenge running from May 26 to June 5, 2015. Our goal is to reach over 5 million total contributions during the challenge.

You can make meaningful contributions in just a few minutes, and remember that all contributions matter—we encourage you to spread the word in your local community and amongst your friends and family to increase the contributions for your language(s). More contributions mean higher quality translations for your language(s), or helping your language(s) become supported on Google Translate, if they aren’t yet.

To get started:
  • Sign up in the new version of Translate Community at
  • Set your language(s) and contribute with as many high-quality translations / validations you have time for
  • Invite others to join the challenge and show support for your language on social with the official #io15 & #loveyourlanguage hashtags
You can follow which languages are getting the most contributions on our Google+ page, where we’ll post updates on who's leading the way throughout the challenge. Besides helping your language rise to the top of our leaderboard, if you’re one of the top high-quality contributors, you’ll get a Google Translate certificate for your linguistic legerdemain and might even get a shoutout on our social channels.

Built with Polymer
In the spirit of Google I/O, we recently released a new version of the Translate Community using Polymer. In addition to supporting your language, be one of the first to try out the new look of Translate Community.
This new version takes advantage of Web Components in Polymer. We're one of the first teams at Google to use Polymer this way—it’s now much easier to add new features like badges, upgrade our design, and ensure it works great on smartphones and tablets, in addition to desktop. We're looking forward to leading the way by offering our community a fun and engaging place to make a positive impact.

Have you ever slashed the wind with your friends? Attached a gold leaf to the back of a Buddha statue? Or caught the moon in your hands?

You probably have, but if you don’t speak Vietnamese, Thai or Bengali you probably called it something else. These are some phrases Google Translate learned to understand a little better during the first of a series of translate-a-thons held over the last month in Bangladesh, Myanmar, Vietnam and Thailand, part of a “Love your Language” project to get languages better represented on the Web. (For those playing at home, the Vietnamese call it slashing the wind when they gossip, the Thais say they attach a gold leaf to the back of a Buddha statue when they do something selfless, and Bengalis say they’ve caught the moon in their hand when they receive something rare).

Google Translate provides free translation in 90 languages, but for those that don’t have much presence on the Web - like Myanmar, Bengali, Vietnamese and Thai - it could use a little help.

This is where the Translate Community tool and passionate language speakers can make a difference. By letting people validate, match, rate and supply translations, it can boost the translation of these languages online for millions of people.

Try it out yourself at
Since kicking off on International Mother Tongue Day (21 Feb), more than 50,000 people have come together, online and off, to use this tool to improve translations for Bengali, Myanmar, Vietnamese and Thai. They gathered at startup hubs in Yangon and university campuses in Vietnam, Bangladesh and Thailand.
This gentleman showed up at Phandeeyar Innovation Hub in Yangon with a handwritten list of phrases he wanted Google to get right.

So far, more than 100 translate-a-thons have been held and more than 10 million words have been added. That's 17 times more words than Tolstoy used for War and Peace, 12 times the number of words in the English version of the Bible.

It's made a huge difference. The quality of Bengali translations are now twice as good as they were before human review. While in Thailand, Google Translate learned more Thai in seven days with the help of volunteers than in all of 2014.

The following graph show the spike in Translate Community inputs over the last month, March 26 saw a major spike for Bangladesh Independence day, setting a new record for the largest volume of translations contributed in 24 hours.
Google Translate Community surfaces a random selection of popular words and phrases that users are asking Google Translate to explain in their language — from music lyrics, to local recipes, to human rights.
Teaching Google Vietnamese at the University of Technology in Ho Chi Minh City
Teaching Google Vietnamese at the University of Technology in Ho Chi Minh City We sometimes think the offline world and online world are separate. They're not. A huge thank you to all the people that joined us for the Love your Language series of events. Your efforts have made it easier for people from downtown Dhaka to upcountry Thailand to access the web in a language they understand.
Teaching Thai at Siam University International College
And the improvements don’t need to stop. By joining the Translate Community you can join us in making the web work better for everyone — no matter what language you speak.

February 21 marks the 15th anniversary of the UNESCO declaration of International Mother Language Day. Since then each Mother Language Day has promoted the preservation and protection of the approximately 7,000 languages that are spoken throughout the world, half of which are estimated to become extinct in a few generations.

In honor of Mother Language Day 2015, we've decorated the Google Translate homepage with an illustration that celebrates this year's theme of "inclusive education through and with language." Language education helps people connect with others both within and outside their local community.

Click on our illustration on the homepage to visit the Google Translate Community where you can help add new languages to Google Translate and improve those that are currently supported. We've already seen Cantonese, Kyrgyz and Pashto speakers contribute a lot, and we hope to continue our collaboration with these communities so we can eventually add these languages.

We hope you join us for Mother Language Day to improve translation for everyone and show pride for your language. We'll be highlighting the top languages with the most contributions to Translate Community over the next 48 hours on our Google+ page. Show some love for your language and help it get to the top of the list by contributing today!

Posted by Aaron Babst, Community/Program Manager, Google Translate

(Cross-posted on the Inside Search Blog)

Often the hardest part of traveling is navigating the local language. If you've ever asked for "pain" in Paris and gotten funny looks, confused "embarazada" with "embarrassed" in Mexico, or stumbled over pronunciation pretty much anywhere, you know the feeling. Now Google Translate can be your guide in new ways. We’ve updated the Translate app on Android and iOS to transform your mobile device into an even more powerful translation tool.

Instant translation with Word Lens
The Translate app already lets you use camera mode to snap a photo of text and get a translation for it in 36 languages. Now, we’re taking it to the next level and letting you instantly translate text using your camera—so it’s way easier to navigate street signs in the Italian countryside or decide what to order off a Barcelona menu. While using the Translate app, just point your camera at a sign or text and you’ll see the translated text overlaid on your screen—even if you don't have an Internet or data connection.

This instant translation currently works for translation from English to and from French, German, Italian, Portuguese, Russian and Spanish, and we’re working to expand to more languages. 

Have an easier conversation using the Translate app
When talking with someone in an unfamiliar language, conversations can... get... realllllllly... sloowwww. While we’ve had real-time conversation mode on Android since 2013, our new update makes the conversation flow faster and more naturally.

Starting today, simply tap the mic to start speaking in a selected language, then tap the mic again, and the Google Translate app will automatically recognize which of the two languages are being spoken, letting you have a more fluid conversation. For the rest of the conversation, you won’t need to tap the mic again—it'll be ready as you need it. Asking for directions to the Rive Gauche, ordering bacalhau in Lisbon, or chatting with your grandmother in her native Spanish just got a lot faster.

These updates will be coming to both Android and iOS, rolling out over the next few days. This is the first time some of these advanced features, like camera translations and conversation mode, will be available for iOS users.

More than 500 million people use Google Translate every month, making more than 1 billion translations a day to more easily communicate and access information across languages. Today’s updates take us one step closer to turning your phone into a universal translator and to a world where language is no longer a barrier to discovering information or connecting with each other.

Cross-posted on the Inside Search Blog

Whether you're teaching yourself a new language or trying to make a new friend, Google Translate can be a powerful tool for crossing language barriers. Today, we're adding 10 languages to Translate, bringing our total number of supported languages to 90. These 10 new languages will allow more than 200 million additional people to translate text to and from their native languages. These languages are available now on and will roll out soon to our mobile apps and to the built-in translation functionality in Chrome.  

If it weren't for the active Translate Community participation, we wouldn't be able to launch some of these languages today. While our translation system learns from translated data found on the web, sometimes we need support from humans to improve our algorithms. We're very grateful for all the support we're getting today and we hope that together with our community, we can continue improving translation quality for the languages we support today and add even more languages in the future.

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Spotlight on our new languages

Africa gets more language coverage with Chichewa, Malagasy, and Sesotho:

  • Chichewa (Chinyanja) is spoken by 12 million people in Malawi and surrounding countries. It is one of 55 languages used in the greetings that now travel the galaxy on the Voyager interstellar probes.
  • Malagasy is spoken by 18 million people in Madagascar, where it is the national language. It is one of only a few languages which puts the verb first in sentences, followed by the object and then the subject.
  • Sesotho has 6 million native speakers. It is the national language of Lesotho and one of 11 official languages in South Africa.

In India and Southeast Asia, we are adding Malayalam, Myanmar, Sinhala, and Sundanese:

  • Malayalam (മലയാളം), with 38 million native speakers, is a major language in India and one of that country’s 6 classical languages. It’s been one of the most-requested languages, so we are especially excited to add Malayalam support!
  • Myanmar (Burmese, မြန်မာစာ) is the official language of Myanmar with 33 million native speakers. Myanmar language has been in the works for a long time as it's a challenging language for automatic translation, both from language structure and font encoding perspectives. While our system understands different Myanmar inputs, we encourage the use of open standards and therefore only output Myanmar translations in Unicode.
  • Sinhala (සිංහල) is one of the official languages of Sri Lanka and natively spoken by 16 million people. In September the local community in Sri Lanka organized Sinhala Translate Week, and since then, participants have contributed tens of thousands of translations to our system. We're happy to be able to release Sinhala as one of the new languages today!
  • Sundanese (Basa Sunda) is spoken on the island of Java in Indonesia by 39 million people. While Sundanese does have its own script, it is today commonly written using the Latin alphabet, which is what our system uses.

In Central Asia, we are adding Kazakh, Tajik, and Uzbek:

  • Kazakh (Қазақ тілі) with 11 million native speakers in Kazakhstan. We've received strong support from Kazakh language enthusiasts, and we hope to continue collaborating with the local communities in the region to add even more languages in the future, including Kyrgyz.
  • Tajik (Тоҷикӣ), a close relative to modern Persian, is spoken by more than 4 million people in Tajikistan and beyond.
  • Uzbek (Oʻzbek tili) is spoken by 25 million people in Uzbekistan. In addition to receiving Uzbek community support, we've incorporated the Uzbek dictionary by Shavkat Butaev into our system.

We’re just getting started with these new languages and have a long way to go. You can help us by suggesting your corrections using "Improve this translation" functionality on Translate and contributing to Translate Community.

Posted by the Google Translate engineering team