Vivaldi gets a privacy preserving translation service

Vivaldi Technologies released a new browser snapshot of the next version of the company's today. The new snapshot introduces a much requested feature: web translations.

Up until now, Vivaldi users have to rely on web services or browser extensions to introduce translation functionality in the web browser. Most extensions rely on Google Translate or Microsoft Translate, and that means that connections to these services are made whenever translation functionality is accessed.

Vivaldi's translate feature uses a different approach, one that preserves the privacy of users. Instead of relying on an external service like Google Translate, it is using a self-hosted service. While that is not the same as local translations, something that Mozilla hopes to introduce with Project Bergamot, it is preferable to sending information to third-party services.

Vivaldi Techologies partnered up with Lingvanex, a company that has created translation services, including APIs and applications. If you have never heard of them before, you may head over to the main website to test the translation service right on the site.

Vivaldi's implementation is somewhat limited right now, as the number of languages is limited when compared to the supported languages by Lingvanex. Plans are underway to introduce support for additional languages and functionality to the Vivaldi web browser in the future.

For now, it is a "public test" of the functionality.

If you have updated Vivaldi to the latest version already -- you can check the version by loading vivaldi://about/ and the feature was introduced in 3.8.2238.3 -- then you may use the translation feature already. Whenever you visit a non-native language, e.g. a German page in an English language version of Vivaldi, you will see a new translation icon in the address bar. To be precise, on the right side of the address bar.

Activate it to open the "translate page" menu. It allows you to select a target language at the time of writing, but nothing else. The initial implementation supports 22 different languages including English, Spanish, French, German, Italian, Icelandic, Russian and Turkish.

vivaldi translate feature

Select the translate button to translate the entire page to the selected language. A quick test with several German pages and the translation language English was only partially successful. On some pages, e.g. this Wikipedia page or this Heise page, only some of the content was translated. The result was a mix of German and English words in some sentences.

Sentences with full translations sounded good on first glance. A quick test of French to English translations painted a better picture, as these did not include the mix of languages on the translated pages.  Improvements will be made before the feature lands in Vivaldi stable.

Closing Words

Translation functionality is a popular feature, and the integration of a self-hosted solution will surely be welcomed by many users of the browser and new users alike. It is too early to tell how the translation service compares to established solutions.

Now You: Do you require translation functionality in your browser of choice?

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Vivaldi gets a privacy preserving translation service
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Vivaldi gets a privacy preserving translation service
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Vivaldi Technologies released a new browser snapshot of the next version of the company's today. The new snapshot introduces a much requested feature: web translations.
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Comments

  1. Anonymous said on March 24, 2021 at 5:53 pm
    Reply

    Newsflash: “Google removes privacy-focused ClearURLs Chrome extension”

    More info here: https://www.bleepingcomputer.com/news/security/google-removes-privacy-focused-clearurls-chrome-extension/

    1. iwantodie said on March 25, 2021 at 12:27 am
      Reply

      Request Control is alternative. Google is the internet.

  2. Klaas Vaak said on March 24, 2021 at 6:48 pm
    Reply

    @Anonymous: thanks. There is also Neat URL as an alternative.

  3. banita said on March 24, 2021 at 8:32 pm
    Reply

    The new layout is terrible. however the ghacks changed for the worse. :(

    1. kaskuser said on March 25, 2021 at 4:35 am
      Reply

      Yes, I’m shock with that big orange background at the top.

    2. David H said on March 25, 2021 at 3:11 pm
      Reply

      Use https://www.ghacks.net/?s to get the old layout

    3. Greg said on March 27, 2021 at 12:12 am
      Reply

      agree, it is terrible which is why i dont bother using it much now, its a pointless website, a brothel has more use than this website

  4. Anonymous said on March 24, 2021 at 9:36 pm
    Reply

    @Klaas_Vaak: Yes, indeed. Actually, I always use both NeatURL and ClearURLs on Firefox and Ungoogled Chromium at the same time. The developer is also giving more details here in this github issue: https://github.com/ClearURLs/Addon/issues/102

    On Ungoogled Chromium ClearURLs can still be installed manually (which I have done now). Let’s hope that the problem can be solved and that ClearURLs will return to the Chrome Web Store.

  5. Iwanttodie said on March 25, 2021 at 12:07 am
    Reply

    Project Bergamot, How did I miss that one. Having alternatives to the big guys is good but having it around for offline use is much better solution.

    1. owl said on March 25, 2021 at 8:42 am
      Reply

      @Iwanttodie,
      > Project Bergamot, Having alternatives to the big guys is good but having it around for offline use is much better solution.

      Reference:
      The Bergamot Project will add and improve client-side machine translation in a web browser.
      https://browser.mt/
      https://twitter.com/BergamotProject/status/1336436690404052992
      https://www.w3.org/2020/06/machine-learning-workshop/talks/privacy_focused_machine_translation_in_firefox.html

      “Wants to use the translation service offline (standalone)” is an ideal specification, but for that purpose, “a dictionary of languages ​​(vocabulary, usage, etc.) for translation” must also be included, and its file size becomes huge.
      Also, The language dictionaries also need to be modified and added to, and frequently updated versions may need to be released if accuracy is to be pursued.
      Due to these inconveniences, vendors seem to have decided that connecting to the server of the translation engine is the practical way to go.
      The direction of “Project Bergamot Firefox Translation” is ideal, and it is attracting attention, but even if it is realized, users may be disgusted (for huge file size, update, etc.).
      Ideals and reality are different, and if the specifications are not “easy, light, handy, and practical,” there is a good chance that users will not appreciate them.

      For example, the ability to add “Have I Been Pwned database locally” to the password manager “KeePass” drew a lot of attention at first, but few people using it, probably because the (pwned-passwords-sha1-ordered-by-hash-v4) file size is so huge (22.6 GB) that it took a long time to download and install, and updating the files takes time and effort.
      Check all KeePass passwords against the Have I Been Pwned database locally | gHacks Tech News
      https://www.ghacks.net/2019/01/18/check-all-keepass-passwords-against-the-have-i-been-pwned-database-locally/

  6. owl said on March 25, 2021 at 9:07 am
    Reply

    Now You: Do you require translation functionality in your browser of choice?

    I think it would be useful to have, but in my case, I have no complaints with the desktop application, DeepL (DeepL for Windows).
    I don’t like browsers getting bloated (I stopped using the “Vivaldi” browser which keeps getting bloated with niche features. Niche features should be extensions, not native features).
    https://www.ghacks.net/2021/03/24/deepl-translator-adds-support-for-13-european-languages/#comment-4489892

    1. Honorius said on March 25, 2021 at 3:16 pm
      Reply

      > Niche features should be extensions, not native features).

      Such a browser already exists – called Chrome / Chromium.
      It makes no sense to just create a clone of Chromium. Vivaldi (the company) has opted for a strategy of customization and functionality – something that a chromium user might lack.

      If the user has enough in the browser, but he can get what is missing with extensions, then such a user will not switch to another browser.

  7. Asha said on March 26, 2021 at 10:15 am
    Reply

    how to enable Translate button for English pages to translate them to another languages like Persian?

    1. clake said on March 26, 2021 at 5:48 pm
      Reply

      Set the browser language to Persian in settings, then view the English page and the translate button should show up.

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