Firefox 115 will include automatic translator for web pages

Current Nightly builds of Firefox that will become Firefox 115 on July 4 include the automatic mode for the offline translator that will be enabled by default. It won't use any cloud service to translate a web page. The translation is a locally running process.

Mozilla is using Project Bergamot, an open source engine written in C++ and is a wrapper around the Marian machine translation framework. The latter uses a recurrent neural network (RNN) and transformer-based language models. The engine can use GPU to speed up the translation.

It is worth noting that the Marian framework has been developed by Microsoft engineers in collaboration with researchers from the Universities of Edinburgh and Poznań. It is used to power the Microsoft Translator translation service.

Earlier, Firefox had a built-in mechanism for translating pages, but it was tied to the use of external cloud services (Google, Yandex and Bing via their API). It was never enabled by default

The new translation engine can automatically detect the page language, so the browser can show a special indicator prompting you to translate the page.

You can enable it by opening about:config, setting browser.translations.enable to true.

There is also an option to enable an automatic translation mode. So the Firefox browser will automatically translate web page to a specific language. For that, set browser.translations.autoTranslate to true in about:config.

The built-in local translator may be an attractive feature for users who care about their privacy. It doesn't expose texts you translate and pages you are visiting to any of the online services. On the other hand, it is more resource-heavy, and works slower that any cloud-based translator.

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Author: Sergey Tkachenko

Sergey Tkachenko is a software developer who started Winaero back in 2011. On this blog, Sergey is writing about everything connected to Microsoft, Windows and popular software. Follow him on Telegram, Twitter, and YouTube.

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