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Google is now charging for MT services

I know we were all expecting this, Google will start charging for third party software to access their translation service. I guess we all knew this time would come
Here is what you can find in the Google Translate API website:
"Important: Google Translate API v2 is now available as a paid service. The courtesy limit for existing Translate API v2 projects created prior to August 24, 2011 will be reduced to zero on December 1, 2011. In addition, the number of requests your application can make per day will be limited. Google Translate API v1 will be shut off completely on the same date (December 1, 2011); it was officially deprecated on May 26, 2011. These changes are being made due to the substantial economic burden caused by extensive abuse. For website translations, we encourage you to use the Google Website Translator gadget."
The price will be 20 USD for every million characters. The question you might be asking yourself at the moment might be: a million characters hu? how much is that?
I happen to be translating a 40056 words project, a very common amount if you ask me, I just checked the character amount and it happens to be 208,679 characters. This means that just a very regular project will consume almost a quarter of the character count I get for my $20 bucks. So 4 of those projects, which is a very standard month for me, would consume my 20 dollars. Now 160,000 words is a very small number for a mid-sized translation company. One thousand pages would mean 220,000 characters and $40 dollars a month and around 500 dollars a year. This is just for one language, a regular small company works with 3-4 languages at least, about 2000 dollars every year. It might not be much, but the good question would be, is it really worth it? In my experience Google translate works very good with short sentences and it is very topic-dependant. It works great for IT, but has serious problems when it comes to legal translation for example. The bright side might be that we will now think twice before running our files through Google translate as a pre-translation step. And don't take me wrong, I'm a supporter of MT if it is used carefully and responsibly. I will share more thoughts on this regards in future posts. In the meantime, please work hard to get us new API integrated applications for our CAT software guys!


turkish translation services said...

Great Post!!!!!!

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German translator Gold Coast said...

Great article! These are some good ideas I need to give this a try!!

tombelfort said...

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brad said...

Nice post.Very informative.It might look like an unnecessary cost increase at first glance, but I'd always recommend using language professionals for financial translation, the risk you run without them is sure to cost you much more in the end.

Phoebe said...

I agree, it's always best to go with the professionals. Seems funny to me that google can charge for a machine translation service, when this is not a very accurate form of translation anyway.

Turkish translation requires a competent human being who can translate a text accurately, with sensitivity towards connotations of different words and a comprehension of particular grammar structures.

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