DeepL, a company that specializes in machine translation, announced a breakthrough in artificial intelligence translation quality today.
DeepL made waves when it was launched in 2017 as it promised to deliver translations that were more human-like than those of competing services such as Google Translate or Bing Translate. The service launched a document translation service a year later and released DeepL Translator, a desktop application for windows and Mac, in 2019.
The subscription service DeepL Pro is available for individuals, teams and developers that brings in revenue. Plans start at €5.99 for individuals.
One downside was, and still is, the limited number of supported languages. Still, DeepL is used by more than half a billion people according to the company and there does not seem to be an end to the rise of the service in sight.
Translation quality has improved recently according to a new blog post on the DeepL website thanks to new neural networks that are "able to represent the meaning of the translated sentences in the target language much more precisely and, at the same time, are often able to find more professional formulations."
DeepL decided to conduct a blind test using 119 "lengthy passages from a variety of subjects". These were translated by DeepL, Google, Amazon and Microsoft, and presented to "professional translators". The professionals were asked to pick the best translation of the four without information about the service that provided the translations.
According to DeepL, its service was picked four times more often than those of any other system. DeepL managed to get the most votes in categories (English to German, German to English, English to French, French to English, English to Spanish, and Spanish to English translations).
Google Translate made second place except for Spanish to English which Microsoft managed to snag away from Google.
It is a good idea to compare translation services to find out which works best for you. DeepL works best for my needs but the limited number of supported languages sometimes means that other translation services need to be used.
Mozilla plans to launch a native translation service in Firefox as well.
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