Google AI and ML translation services are helping health officials communicate with people in languages they understand to disseminate the COVID-19 information, and it means reaching 51 million migrants in at least 350 languages in the US alone. The information ranges from how to keep people and their families safe, to financial, employment, or food resources.
However, organizations — from health departments to government agencies —are struggling to keep up with the high volume of rapidly-changing content and lack the resources to translate the COVID-19 related content into the needed languages.
Facilitating Immediate Translation
Machine translation is an automated way to translate text or speech from one language to another. "Although not intended to fully replace human translators, it can provide value when immediate translations are needed for a wide variety of languages," said Google.
Many popular browsers offer translation capabilities, which are either built-in (Chrome) or require installing an add-on or extension (Microsoft Edge or Firefox). To translate web content in Chrome, all you have to do is go to a webpage in another language, then click "Translate" at the top of the window.
"If you are a webmaster of a government, non-profit, and/or non-commercial website, you may be eligible to sign up for the Google Translate Website Translator widget," the tech giant said in a statement.
Supports Different Formats
This tool translates web page content into over 100 different languages. Nearly all new information is coming in as PDFs (Portable Document Format) several times a day, and many officials report not being able to offer professional translation for all needed languages.
This is where machine translation can serve as a useful tool. "Google Translate supports translating many different document formats. By simply uploading the document, you can get a translated version in the language that you choose," said the company in a statement.