We all use Google Translate almost every other day and our usage is turning out to be a pretty awesome story for the company who is handling the service. Yes I am talking about Google as Google has announced some pretty interesting stats about its Google Translate service. The service has 200 million monthly active users and translates as much text as you would find in over 1 million books. To support the fact that the service is perfect for traveling, Google says that 92 percent of Translate’s traffic comes from outside of the US.
Here’s what Franz Och, Distinguished Research Scientist at Google Translate had to say about the product’s history today:
In 2001, Google started providing a service that could translate eight languages to and from English. It used what was then state-of-the-art commercial machine translation (MT), but the translation quality wasn’t very good, and it didn’t improve much in those first few years. In 2003, a few Google engineers decided to ramp up the translation quality and tackle more languages. That’s when I got involved. I was working as a researcher on DARPA projects looking at a new approach to machine translation—learning from data—which held the promise of much better translation quality. I got a phone call from those Googlers who convinced me (I was skeptical!) that this data-driven approach might work at Google scale.