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 is a hugely popular email service. You might not like the automated scanning of email content.|
|Maps is a web mapping service offering satellite imagery, aerial photography, street maps, and interactive panoramic views.|
|Photos stores your images in the cloud for convenient access from anywhere. Lots of useful tools, but it’s difficult to shake the sinking feeling that Google is analysing your pictures.|
|Translate is a multilingual neural machine translation service that translates text and websites from one language into another.|
|Calendar helps manage your busy life with a digital calendar. It offers tons of features and makes it easy to keep track of life’s important events all in one place.|
|Chrome is application software for accessing the World Wide Web. It's the most popular web browser but has a chequered track record from a privacy perspective.|
|Search looks at privacy-focused alternatives to Google Search. If you believe that Google invades your privacy, what alternatives do we recommend?|
|Drive is a file storage and synchronization service. Want a solution that also includes the online office components available in Google Docs?|
|Earth Pro maps Earth by superimposing satellite images, aerial photography, and GIS. Fly anywhere to see satellite imagery, 3D buildings, 3D trees, terrain, Street View, planets and much more.|
|DNS resolves a particular domain name to its IP equivalent. There are many free DNS providers. A few stand out from the crowd.|
|YouTube is an online video sharing and social media platform. It's a hugely popular service but has encountered a number of privacy issues.|
|Google Docs is a web-based productivity office suite. The suite includes Google Docs, Google Sheets, Google Slides, Google Drawings, Google Forms, Google Sites, and Google Keep.|
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