Language translation apps are a great tool in a smartphone’s productivity arsenal and most of them work just fine without an internet connectivity, but when it comes to translating complex sentences which require some natural language processing and cloud-based machine learning algorithms, being online is compulsory. Microsoft has now removed the internet connectivity limitation and has announced that its AI-powered Microsoft Translator app will no longer require an internet connection and can work just fine in offline mode on all supported platforms.

The updated version of the Microsoft Translator app for Android, iOS and Amazon Fire devices will now allow users to download AI-powered translation packs that will be used to translate their queries even when they are offline.

Microsoft Translator has added new capabilities that allow users and developers to get artificial intelligence-powered translations whether or not they have access to the Internet. The new capabilities allow both end-users and third-party app developers to have the benefit of neural translation technology regardless of whether the device is connected to the cloud or offline. ​

Microsoft claims that the offline translation packs are capable of providing high-quality translation output, with all the translations following the Neural Machine Translation (NMT) standard created by Microsoft.

The updated language packs are currently available for Arabic, Chinese-Simplified, French, German, Italian, Japanese, Korean, Portuguese, Russian, Spanish and Thai, with support for additional languages currently in development.

Microsoft claims that the new NMT-based language translation packs are capable of producing error-free translations which are up to 23% more accurate and 50% smaller in size, with the difference between online and offline translations being ‘barely noticeable’. Aside from users, developers too will be able to leverage the Microsoft Translator’s newfound capabilities by integrating the app’s online/offline translation capabilities into their apps.

If their app is offline, the locally stored NMT language packs will be utilized to deliver the translated text to their app, and if users are online, the translation query will be directed to the Microsoft Translator service on Azure to retrieve and present the translated text. The updated Microsoft Translator app with the offline translation feature is currently in the preview stage and will be released via the stable channel in the next 90 days.

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