Google Releases Language Translation API

As of today, the powerful Google Translate service that lets you translate between 13 different languages and 29 language pairs is now available as a handy JavaScript-based API. Given the breadth of the engine it's built on, it already supports languages including Russian, Korean, Arabic, Italian, Greek, French and Spanish. It's a simple but powerful API, given the number of uses this can be put to. Our new Google Translate API profile has more technical details.

As their announcement makes clear, it's a very easy to use API with two main functions: language detection and language translation. The language translate() Function just needs a string to translate, the source and destination languages, and a Callback function. The detect() function takes a block of text and a callback.


Since language detection is very hard problem and not always perfect, the API provides two useful properties of a true/falue value "isReliable" and a 0-1.0 "confidence" value which together give an indication of how certain the language detector is in each case.

For some ideas on what uses this can put to, check-out our listing of 7 translation-related mashups in our directory now. These include the mashup shown below, Universal Chat Translator for Skype (download here), a plug-in built on the Skype API that translates chats in real-time:

Note that the API Documentation makes it clear there are more features coming before long: "We plan on adding more exciting capabilities to the AJAX Language API in the future, so stay tuned."