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2017.02.21 Google Translate app implements real-time Japanese translation
In January 2017, Google updated its ‘Google Translate’ smartphone app (iOS/Android) to enable immediate text translation to and from Japanese. The app displays translations on the screen when app users hold their smartphone camera up to some text. The real-time camera translation mode, offered by Google since 2015, now supports 30 languages with the inclusion of Japanese.

Japanese app users seemed amazed at this real-time camera translation function, posting comments such as ‘[technology has] finally come this far’. On Twitter, users of the app uploaded so many photos of the English-Japanese live translation in action that ‘#Google翻訳 (Google Translate)’ became a top trending topic.

However, while the app’s translation speed is fast enough, there is still room for improvement in its translation accuracy. In addition, the real-time function is not too suited for translating long sentences, though it is good for translating short text such as a signboard or menu.

Google Translate made a transition from its previous statistical model-based machine translation system to a neural network-based system in November 2016, when many users noted that the translation quality became dramatically better. The latest update is another step in the advancement of machine translation.

For more information, please refer to the following websites: