Google must be trying to warm my heart lately. After a video circulated of a legally blind man behind the wheel of Google's self-driving car made its rounds recently, Google now announces its Translator Toolkit. The new toolkit offers developers a suite of services for localizing their apps. This is the future we all dreamed of.


The toolkit will allow developer to upload certain files from their apps to translate the text to another language. Of course, this will be about as good as Google's translations are already (read: okay, but not great). However, developers can then share their translations with local translators who can fine tune the results in the Translator Toolkit's WYSIWYG editor.

It's by no means the demolition of the language barrier that humanity has been searching for, but it's a handy step in the right direction. Also, it would be unsurprising if Google was using this service to funnel data into the Translate algorithm in a self-sustaining katamari of language data. Google has discussed before how it frequently creates services to mine data to create other services. For example, Google Voice's initial incarnation, a voicemail service that transcribed your voicemails, eventually led to the voice transcription that is now built in to all Android devices. This seems like just a natural move. Of course, this is just speculation.

What's for certain is that developers now have a great set of tools to make localization much easier. Now, which of you is going to get started on the "Crazy things Google Translated apps say" tumblr first?

Source: Google Developers Blog

Eric Ravenscraft
Eric is a snarky technophile with a taste for the unusual. When he's not obsessing about Android, you can usually find him obsessing about movies, psychology, or the perfect energy drink. Eric weaves his own special blend of snark, satire, and comedy into all his articles.

  • http://codytoombs.wordpress.com Cody Toombs

    I saw the G+ post on this earlier today. They are getting a shocking amount of backlash from people complaining that this will encourage more app developers to be cheap and not pay for professional translations, and as a side effect a lot of apps will get really bad translations. I'm sure there's some truth to that, but I can't help but thing that most of those same developers were already using Google's translation engine manually and this isn't likely to make any real difference. I'm happy it's there because it will at least make it easier to get translations started. I'm a bit disappointed there aren't any community support features to help fine-tune translations.

  • http://muzikant-android.blogspot.com Muzikant

    I agree that it will be easier to create bad translations, but about the community support for translation - You can look at the following link to see how AutomateIt was already supports 1 different languages without using Google translate and totally relying on community support:

    • http://muzikant-android.blogspot.com Muzikant

      Edit: I meant it already support 11 languages and not 1 language...

  • https://market.android.com/details?id=de.rakuun.MyClassSchedule.free Sebastian

    I am personally using getlocalization.com for my app "My Class Schedule", and it works pretty well! It allowed me to include translations for 20+ languages and most of them are up to date.
    To me, the main advantage over Google Translate Toolkit is the community-based approach - you don't have to invite your translators but can allow anyone to submit or vote for translations (though, if you want to you can make it invite-only as well I think).

  • kano

    I saw your app,WOW its almost the same as what i have ,Iā€™m a student and let me share to you what I have right now. I have this app on my iPhone called speechtrans got it from itunes that let me communicate with people with different languages.this is the website http://speechtrans.com this app help me to my language class.and also eliminate language barrier. i hope this will help student like me because its a great help for esl student, for me its consider a educational tool . and thank you so much for posting this app its a big news , because allot of people is experiencing language barrier in the web. i will leave a feed back on the app once i try it thank you