Google has a firm grip with their products and services ubiquitous on the desktop. Don’t get us wrong, we’re long-standing admirers of many of Google’s products and services. They are often high quality, easy to use, and ‘free’, but there can be downsides of over-reliance on a specific company. For example, there can be questions about their privacy policies, business practices, and an almost insatiable desire to control all of our data, all of the time.
What if you are looking to move away from Google and embark on a new world of online freedom, where you are not constantly tracked, monetised and attached to Google’s ecosystem.
In this series we explore how you can migrate from Google without missing out on anything. We recommend open source solutions.
Google Translate is a multilingual neural machine translation service that translates text and websites from one language into another.
It offers a website interface, a mobile app, and an application programming interface that helps developers build browser extensions and software applications.
What open source alternatives are available? Unfortunately, there’s a very limited range and none offers the breadth of languages that Google Translate supports.
Out of the open source solutions, we suggest Apertium. This is a machine translation platform, initially aimed at related-language pairs but expanded to deal with more divergent language pairs (such as English-Catalan). There are 51 language pairs which are mature, and their GitHub repositories contain other language pairs in development.
The platform provides a language-independent machine translation engine, tools to manage the linguistic data necessary to build a machine translation system for a given language pair and linguistic data for a growing number of language pairs.
Another useful open source translation solution is LibreTranslate. It’s built on top of Argos Translate. Unlike other APIs, it doesn’t rely on proprietary providers such as Google or Azure to perform translations.
All articles in this series:
|Alternatives to Google's Products and Services|
|Gmail||Email is an essential activity and starts the ball rolling in this series|
|Maps||Web mapping service offering satellite imagery, aerial photography, street maps +|
|Photos||Store your images in the cloud for convenient access from anywhere|
|Translate||Multilingual neural machine translation service|
|Calendar||Manage your busy life with a digital calendar|
|Chrome||Application software for accessing the World Wide Web|
|Search||Privacy-focused alternatives to Google Search|
|Drive||File storage and synchronization service|
|Earth Pro||Maps Earth by superimposing satellite images, aerial photography, and GIS data|
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Read our complete collection of recommended free and open source software. The collection covers all categories of software.
The software collection forms part of our series of informative articles for Linux enthusiasts. There's tons of in-depth reviews, alternatives to Google, fun things to try, hardware, free programming books and tutorials, and much more.