Translation and Language Industry Observations

I just got an email from Google announcing that it is shutting down its Google Translator Toolkit (GTT) service. This is pretty big news, although I am not really sure why. Was anyone using GTT? Obviously not very many and the number of users was in decline, because otherwise why would they do that? I personally thought that it is a great service, especially since it is free. But truthfully, we used it very infrequently and never for any work of significant importance.

We are always dismayed when Google terminates a service, even though it is their right to do so. The Lord giveth and Lord taketh away. OK so Google is not the Lord but in the world of the Internet they are.

Perhaps one of the reasons for the shutdown is that ever since Google Translate can translate entire documents, including PDF files, people did not see the use for GTT’s online editor. Especially since the UI was cumbersome anyway. GTT has the ability to upload TMs and dictionaries, but many translation professionals probably felt leery about sharing their TMs with Google.

One company that may be upset by this news is Translated. This was the translation company that Google advertised on GTT for post-editing the Google MT. How many sales did Translated get out of GTT? Nobody knows except the people at Translated, but I am guessing that they got a considerable amount of business out of it.

What do you think about Google’s announcement? Our readers would love to hear about it.

Here is the announcement from Google.


Google Translator Toolkit launched over a decade ago to help our users, translators, and the world create and share translations. When we first launched, there were few web-based options for translation editors, but now there are many great tools available, including Google Translate, which will continue to be available and is unaffected by this. As a result, we’ve seen declining usage for Translator Toolkit over the past few years. So now, after many years and billions of words translated, we’re saying goodbye to Translator Toolkit. A warm thank you to our users around the world.

Download your data

Prior to the shutdown on December 4, 2019, your data can be downloaded directly in Translator Toolkit (see how). Shortly after shutdown, you can download all of your data at Google Takeout.

Delete, share, or unshare your data

If you would like to share or unshare your data, this can be done prior to shutdown directly in Translator Toolkit (see how).

To delete data that you own in Translator Toolkit, simply select the Glossaries, Translation Memories, or Translations you would like to delete and click Delete. For Translations, you also need to click Trash, select translations, and click Empty trash.

Thank you for supporting Translator Toolkit over the years. To learn more, visit our Help Center.


The Google Translator Toolkit team

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  1. Hi

    I am a 25 years experience translator and a heavy user of Google Translator Toolkit, since its appearance in 2009.

    I have solved most of its problems and have an idea that might change it 360 and make it be used more (very creative idea which will differentiate it from other available software)

    I thought even to produce a book in how to use it successfully in companies as I have used it in three companies as senior translator and still using it successfully.

    1. Hi Mohamed , thanks for your comment. Did you write to Google about your idea? If so, what did they say? In any event, and even though I am sure that your idea is good, Google announced the final shutdown of GTT. But if would like to tell us about your idea we will publish it. Maybe your idea can be put to good use on the basis of a platform other than GTT. Please let me know if you are interested in sharing your ideas.

  2. It’s really sad. I would like to request google not to let this valuable tool disappear like that. I really use it in my daily activities and it helps me a lot.

    1. Hi Emmanuel, thanks for sharing your thoughts and concerns. Google is a huge company and, while it provides many great free products, has been known to shut down various services even when that action causes discomfort to some people. One of our readers sent us a list of alternatives to GTT. Perhaps one of these tools will help fill the void that is soon to be created.

  3. Why are you doing this? I’m writing my thesis and GTT is my only source to understand documents. I tried other alternatives but they’re not useful like GTT so I’m really upset for this situations. Thanks anyway for all translations.

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