Google Translate offline: Your phone is now smart enough (AI)

Today Google Translate can be used offline with NMT for the first time ever. That's Neural Machine Translation – artificial intelligence – and until now it's only been available via the internet, as it was hosted by Google. Now Google's packaged this top-level set of smarts in software that's able to fit on your smartphone. Now you no longer need to have a web connection to get accurate translations of a variety of languages on your phone.

What's the big deal here?

We've seen offline translations before. Word-by-word we could translate some languages in Google Translate. The Google Translate app's been ahead of the rest of the world in this sense for quite a while. Now Google's taken a running leap ahead of the game by giving their NMT technology to your smartphone, locally.

"The neural system translates whole sentences at a time, rather than piece by piece," said Julie Cattiau Product Manager, Translate apps, Google. "It uses broader context to help determine the most relevant translation, which it then rearranges and adjusts to sound more like a real person speaking with proper grammar. This makes translated paragraphs and articles a lot smoother and easier to read."

Each language is downloaded individually by the end user in the Google Translate app. Each language is between 30 and 45MB – not even beginning to be an issue for modern smartphone internal storage. I recommend downloading Google Translate to every one of your devices, along with all languages available offline right this minute. This extraordinary technology is a rarity in our modern world: free, helpful, and without some sort of sneaky trade of advertisement views or private information for "free" services. I'm looking at you, Facebook.

To download and use:

The Google Translate app is not included on your phone right out the box, you need to download it separately. To attain this app, go to Google Play for Android or to the App Store for iOS. These apps are free for all users, and were updated earlier this month.

The newest update comes not only in the app itself, but in the downloaded files. You'll need the version from at earliest June 8th, 2018, with new downloaded languages from that date forward. Google revealed this update to the public on June 13th, 2018.