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DeepL – a translator which surpassed Google Translate

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A company doesn’t have to be a technological giant to create a product that exceeds the most popular programs of the same type. There is no doubt that in the world of automatic translation Google, Microsoft, and Facebook are the leaders. And yet it turns out that a small company DeepL has created a translator that sometimes exceeds the quality of the most popular programs of this type.

DeepL logo
Source: https://www.deepl.com/home


How DeepL was created?

It turns out that the key to the development of the translation service was to use the first own product, which is Linguee, a translation search engine on the Internet. The data obtained in this way became training material for artificial intelligence behind DeepL.

Interestingly, Linguee’s co-founder, Gereon Frahling, once worked for Google Research but left in 2007 to continue his new venture.

Currently, DeepL supports 42 language combinations between Polish, English, German, French, Spanish, Italian and Dutch. Already now, artificial intelligence is learning more, such as Mandarin, Japanese and Russian. There are plans to introduce an API, by means of which it will be possible to develop new products and implement the mechanism in other services.

The team has been working with machine learning for years, for tasks bordering on basic translation, but finally, they began a fervent work on a completely new system and a company called DeepL.


What is the advantage of DeepL?

Once again, people realized that AI is learning all the time – to the benefit of consumers, of course. The artificial intelligence behind the DeepL not only accurately recognizes words and selects translations, but is also able to understand certain linguistic nuances, perfectly copes with changed sentence patterns, which makes the result of a user’s inquiry extremely natural – as if it was written by a human being.

The company also has its own supercomputer, which is located in Iceland and operates at 5.1 petaflops. According to press releases with such equipment DeepL is ranked 23rd in the Top 500 supercomputers worldwide.


The statistics do not lie

The blind test compared the new product and solutions from Google, Facebook, and Microsoft. Professional translators were supposed to choose the best results of the mechanisms in the comparison without knowing the author of the translations:

DeepL’s blind testing results
Source: https://techcrunch.com/2017/08/29/deepl-schools-other-online-translators-with-clever-machine-learning/


But that’s not all, because in the BLEU results DeepL also gets great scores. BLEU is an algorithm for evaluating the quality of translation.


Why do others recommend DeepL instead of Google Translate?

The main advantage of DeepL in the context of Google Translate is much better knowledge (or rather a detection) of idioms, phrases, and phraseological compounds. Where, for example, Google Translate is weakening and literal meaning is being found, DeepL can surprisingly offer a more nuanced and much more specific language solution. The translation is not a literal translation of the text, but one that best harmonizes with the contexts and connotations characteristic of the words.

The passage from a German news article rendered by DeepL
Source: https://techcrunch.com/2017/08/29/deepl-schools-other-online-translators-with-clever-machine-learning/

The passage from a German news article rendered by Google Translate
Source: https://techcrunch.com/2017/08/29/deepl-schools-other-online-translators-with-clever-machine-learning/


No wonder that DeepL is gaining recognition all over the world. Here are some reviews:

Thanks to more French-sounding phrases DeepL has also surpassed other services.Le Monde, France

In the first test, from English to Italian, it was very accurate. In particular, he understood the meaning of the sentence well, instead of being stunned by the literal translation.La Repubblica, Italy

DeepL from Germany surpasses Google Translate. A short WIRED test shows that the results of DeepL are by no means worse than those of its best competitors, and in many cases even surpass them. Translated texts are often much more fluid; where Google Translate creates completely meaningless word strings, DeepL can at least guess the connection.WIRED.de, Germany

We were impressed with how artificial intelligence selects the translations and how the results of its work look afterward. Personally, I had the impression that on the other side sits a man who on speed translates.Antyweb, Poland


The DeepL tool has been made available to a wider audience – for free in the form of a website.

Now it is only a matter of waiting for DeepL to advertise its tool, because although it does not have a large language base, at first glance the accuracy of the translations definitely exceeds the most popular tools of this type.

It’s worth watching how the product will develop further as the current achievements of DeepL are really promising.

Did any of you choose DeepL instead of Google Translate?



[1] https://techcrunch.com/2017/08/29/deepl-schools-other-online-translators-with-clever-machine-learning/

[2] https://www.deepl.com/blog/20180305.html

[3] https://www.dw.com/en/deepl-cologne-based-startup-outperforms-google-translate/a-46581948

[4] https://www.forbes.com/sites/samanthabaker1/2019/06/27/will-this-german-startup-win-the-translation-game/

[5] https://www.deutsche-startups.de/2018/07/05/deepl-koelner-uebersetzungskoenig-macht-millionengewinn/

[6] https://www.forbesdach.com/artikel/davids-erbe-und-igels-strategie.html

[7] https://www.letemps.ch/societe/deepl-meilleur-traducteur-automatique

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