Google Translator Toolkit to be Shut Down

Posted by
Anastasia in Technology on 11/27/20192 min read

Google translator toolkit shuts down featured

There’s a joke about Google projects that people learn about only when their shutdown is announced. And we wouldn’t be surprised if you didn’t hear about a tool called Google Translator Toolkit. It was never trendy and remained a niche tool. With time, the number of users must have declined even more, and this is the main reason why it’s shutting down on December 4, 2019.

GTK was an online computer-assisted translation tool (CAT), which allowed editing translations generated by Google Translate, among other things. It could easily handle large documents, which was especially useful for those working with multilingual user manuals.

It was meant to be Google’s next big thing and even had a proper name: Google Translation Center. But it turned out to be a more... humble product. The project-based workflow was replaced with document-based, and instead of being a full-fledged process management package, it became simply yet another personal translation memory tool. Back in 2009, when it first launched, there were not many online web tools like that. But ten years later, the situation has changed.

Nowadays, there are plenty of specialized tools to help you translate software documentation. Here are a few examples:

  • OneSky. Besides providing you with the advanced translation management system, they offer the help of 1000+ professional translators ready to come to the rescue at a reasonable price.
  • Memsource uses AI to streamline the translation process and speed it up.
  • Crowdin claims it to be the perfect place to manage all of your multi-language content effectively. It provides you with an online translation editor, where you can collaborate with your colleagues.
  • MemoQ is different in the sense that it offers specific tools to different people. Yes, it may be quite pricey, but it’s a perfect solution if you have a lot of user guides and other kinds of documentation in your company.
  • Transifex is perfect for agile localization, as it allows you to collaborate on the live content.

Besides the solutions mentioned above, Google has suggested a list of Google Translator Toolkit alternatives in their shutdown notice. As you can see, the market has grown tremendously in the last few years, and GTK may be shutting down, but there are plenty of alternatives.

Fortunately, this will not affect ClickHelp in any way. As of now, we use Google Translate Widget for allowing readers to see documentation in a different language, and it does not depend on Google Translator Toolkit by any means.

Machine translation quality may be enough to get a sense of what a particular help topic is about. Still, we understand that even despite machine learning, it’s far from perfect, so we’re working on something big regarding localization support in our help authoring tool that we’re going to release next year. Stay tuned not to miss out on the updates of ClickHelp!

Good luck with your technical writing!
ClickHelp Team
Author, host and deliver documentation across platforms and devices


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