Mozilla is working on a page translation feature, similar to the one in Google Chrome. If you are a Firefox user, soon you will be able to right-click on a page in Firefox and translate it to your native language.
While other modern browsers (mostly Chromium-based) include the translator feature, Mozilla's own implementation will be quite different. Most of the browsers use a cloud service, such as Google Translate in Opera and Chrome, or Bing in case of the Chromium-based Microsoft Edge browser. Mozilla's translator feature won't use any cloud-based service. It will utilize a local machine learning-based library.
This library is a part of the of the Bergamot Project, which is currently in active development. The project received €3 million ($3.35 million) in EU funding from the European Union's Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme. According to developers, having a client-side translation engine empowers citizens to preserve their privacy and increases the uptake of language technologies in Europe in sectors that require confidentiality.
Also, Mozilla has begun hiring neural machine translation engineers to integrate Bergamot inside Firefox. Once finished, the library will become an open source project.
This is Mozilla's second try to integrate a translator to the browser. A few years ago, developers behind the browser were about to utilize Google Translate as a translation backend in the browser. However, this plan had been cancelled due to the amount of efforts and time require to support the feature.
With Bergamot, all the work has to be done inside the library. It is only required to connect it to the browser on the Firefox's side.
The UI has been already implemented (shown above) and even included in the Nightly browser. Interested users can enable it by settings the following
- browser.translation.ui.show >
- browser.translation.detectLanguage >
It will be interesting to see the translator option in action and check how the ML-based engine will work with various languages.