Language is no longer a barrier when it comes to Google Chrome – users are almost as fluent in Google Translate as they are in surfing the net. This is made easier by the vast number of languages supported by Google Translate – over 100, including Arabic, Persian, Spanish, Bengali, Dutch, Icelandic, and Swedish.
While Mozilla Firefox is not as popular or widespread as Chrome, it is a strong and well-established web browser in its own right. And now, its parent company Mozilla is bringing an official translation tool to it, one in which the translation engines, language models, and in-page translation algorithms are kept and executed entirely on your computer.
This means that the data that is or will be translated is kept entirely private and will not be sent to the cloud as the entire process is kept localized. This is an edge it has over Google – which provides users with the Cloud Translation API service. In its defense, however, Google has made it clear that it does not make the content of the text that users send available to the public, nor does it share the content with any third party.
Called Firefox Translations, it allows users to input the text in their own language, and the browser will translate it on-the-fly to the language of the page. Currently, Firefox Translations supports 12 languages – Spanish, Bulgarian, Czech, Estonian, German, Icelandic, Italian, Norwegian Bokmal and Nynorsk, Persian, Portuguese and Russian.
Additionally, Mozilla’s high-level API (which was ported to WebAssembly and optimized the operations for matrix multiplication to run efficiently on CPUs) allows for the integration of local machine translation to every web page.
In case you are a Firefox user, you do not have to wait to get your hands on this. Mozilla is now making the translations add-on available to users, and you can get it from the Firefox Add-On store to install it on Firefox Nightly, Beta and in General Release.
Mozilla added that it is looking for user feedback regarding the same, which will help the collaborators of Project Bergamot understand in which direction they should take the product.
Project Bergamot is, of course, something that Mozilla has worked on with the University of Edinburgh, Charles University, University of Sheffield, and the University of Tartu over the past three years to enable offline and localized translations. It is what made Firefox Translations possible.