We already brought you part one of our list of 15 things you probably did not know about Google Translate, and now we’re back with part two! Check out eight more fascinating facts about the translation service that you definitely (probably) did not know below. You might be surprised by what you find out!
Number Eight: It Does Not Translate One Language to Another. This might sound totally crazy – not to mention counterintuitive – but Google Translate doesn’t actually translate from one language to another. Instead, it translates the original language to English, and then it translates English to the target language. Though this makes the process easier, it may cause translation errors as English is far from a perfect language.
Number Seven: It Used United Nations Documents. Google Translate used documents from the United Nations to acquire a large amount of data in many languages without expending too much effort. The UN tends to publish its document in six different languages, so the service has a very well-established six-language database.
Number Six: It Looks for Patterns. In case you’ve ever wondered how the service can translate a colloquial saying appropriately, it’s because Google Translate doesn’t translate word for word. Instead, it looks for patterns and analyzes millions of documents to see what other human translators have done. It then intelligently guesses what the proper translation should be.
Number Five: It Has Some Cool Keyboard Shortcuts. If you click alt [option] + L, you can listen to the target translation of whatever you’re trying to understand on the service. However, if you select alt [option] + shift + L, then you can listen to the source translation instead.
Number Four: There Are Still Languages it Doesn’t Support. There are 27 languages that the service doesn’t yet support. These languages include Cantonese, Hawaiian, and Scottish Gaelic.
Number Three: You Can Help Improve the Service With Translate Community. Translate Community was designed as a way for people to help improve Google Translate in many different ways. Users can work within the community to verify translations and update translations to be more correct.
Number Two: It Was Launched a Decade Ago. Time really flies, doesn’t it? The service was launched way back in 2006 as a rule-based machine translation service.
Number One: It Has a Sense of Humor. It’s no secret that no translation service is perfect, and Google Translate is no exception. However, some of its “fails” are pretty hilarious. It once translated “Lady Gaga” to “Britney Spears,” and if you type in the right thing, you can make the service beatbox for you! We hope you enjoyed our list of 15 things you didn’t know about Google Translate!