Mozilla Rolling Out Firefox Translation Add-on For Web Translation Locally

Mozilla Rolling Out Firefox Translation Add-on For Web Translation Locally


Mozilla is rolling out the Firefox Translations add-on featufor its users around the world. This feature is a part of the Project Bergamot funded by European Union. The goal of this project was to build a set of neural machine translation tools that would enable Mozilla to develop a website translation add-on that operates locally, i.e. the engines, language models and in-page translation alorithms would need to reside and be executed entirely in the user’s computer, so none of the data would be sent to the cloud, making it entirely private.

The translations add-on is now available in the Firefox Add-On store for installation on Firefox Nightly, Beta and in General Release. Mozilla joined the University of Edinburgh, Charles University, University of Sheffield and University of Tartu as part of the Project Bergamot.

Mozilla says that two novel features needed to be introduced. The first was translation of forms, to allow users to input text in their own language that is dynamically translated on-the-fly to the page’s language. The second feature was quality estimation of the translations where low confidence translations should be automatically highlighted on the page, in order to notify the user of potential errors.

“Our solution to that was to develop a high-level API around the machine translation engine, port it to WebAssembly, and optimize the operations for matrix multiplication to run efficiently on CPUs. That enabled us to not only develop the translations add-on but also allowed every web page to integrate local machine translation, like in this website, which lets the user perform free-form translations without using the cloud,” writes Mozilla in a blogpost.

The translation add-on is available for English, Italian, German, Portuguese, Spanish, Czech, Bulgarian, Norwegian Bokmål, and Estonian. More language support will be added later. With this, Mozilla aims Google Translate dominance.

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Author: Shirley