Google Translate just got waaaay more accurate

Linguists, rejoice! No more standing in front of your Spanish 101 class and accidentally making a very inappropriate statement about groceries because you used Google Translate to help you with your homework.

In a blog post on Tuesday, Google announced an update to its Google Translate app that it estimates could reduce translation errors by more than 55% - 85%.

Previously, Translate used Phrase-Based Machine Translation (PBMT) which translated individual phrases within a sentence, and often produced choppy translations which were difficult to understand.

The new system, Neural Machine Translation (NMT), translates entire sentences at a time, rather than piece by piece.

Converting whole sentences allows the program to produce more fluid, relevant and grammatically correct translations.


Currently, the new version of Translate works with English, French, German, Spanish, Portuguese, Chinese, Japanese, Korean, and Turkish. According to Google, these languages account for around 35% of all Translate queries. The company hopes to eventually expand the updated version of Translate to all 103 languages it supports.