Yandex company blog

Simultaneous Translation with Predictive Typing on Android Smartphones

11 July 2013, 12:43

Following the success of our automated translation app, Yandex.Translate, for iOS (over 230,000 downloads since launch in March; about 100,000 translations per day), we are now bridging the communication gap for Android smartphone users by releasing the first edition of Yandex.Translate for Android.

With the English language user interface, the app is of good help to anyone in need of a quick and accurate (well, as accurate as it gets with a machine) translation between English and eleven other languages – Russian, Ukrainian, Belarusian, Czech, French, Italian, Spanish, German, Turkish, Portuguese, Swedish, Danish and Dutch. What makes it much better than your standard robot language is our database of billions of word combinations. We scour the content of huge amount of webpages for patterns and collocations and use statistical algorithms to calculate the best possible equivalent for any given word combination.

Yandex.Translate for Android shares some of its most popular features with its iOS counterpart – predictive typing and simultaneous translation. Just like in Yandex.Translate for iOS, the Android app can translate the source text as it is being typed, while predictive typing can accurately predict the next word in the source text, which cuts input time by more than half. Try typing on an Android smartphone a 40-character phrase, “My flight was delayed due to bad weather", in 14 taps. Yandex.Translate can do that!

Instead of continually changing translations trying to guess what the user wants to say by each new letter they type, Yandex.Translate makes sure the new letter is the end of the word and only then translates this word. In result, the translated text makes sense. In most cases.

The Android app can voice fragments of translated text of up to 100 characters in English, Russian, Turkish, Italian, French, Spanish, German, Czech and Polish. Enough for the user to learn how to ask for a bill, say thank you or offer help in a foreign language. 

Both, the iOS app and the Android app detect the input language automatically and, of course, just like the iOS app, the Android version has an extensive dictionary with full entries, which include word definitions, usage examples, transcription and an opportunity to sound the key word.

Our mobile apps for automated translation use proprietary machine translation technology based on statistical regularities rather sets of rules and complement our eponymous web-based translation service, which runs since March 2011. 

Yandex.Translate for Android is available for free on Google Play and in Yandex.Store.