What is Cloud Translation?

Cloud Translation enables your websites and applications to dynamically translate text programmatically through an API. Cloud Translation uses a Google pre-trained or a custom machine learning model to translate text. By default, Cloud Translation uses a Google pre-trained Neural Machine Translation (NMT) model, which Google updates on semi-regular cadence when more training data or better techniques become available.


Cloud Translation can translate text for more than 100 language pairs. If you don't know the language of your source text, Cloud Translation can detect it for you. For a list of all of the supported languages, see Supported languages.

Cloud Translation scales seamlessly and allows unlimited character translations per day. However, there are restrictions on content size for each request and request rates. Additionally, you can use quota limits to manage your budget. For more information, see Quotas and limits.

Example use case

As an enterprise organization, you can include translated text in existing internal workflows. For example, you might have a global support team that receives customer cases in many different languages. You can add Cloud Translation into your workflow to translate those customer cases into the native language of your support team members.

By using Cloud Translation, you improve the overall efficiency of your support team because they don't need to manually translate text themselves or rely on others.

Cloud Translation editions

Cloud Translation offers two editions:

  • Cloud Translation - Basic (v2)
  • Cloud Translation - Advanced (v3)

Both editions support language detection and translation. They also use the same Google pre-trained model to translate content. Cloud Translation - Advanced includes features such as batch requests, AutoML custom models, and glossaries. For example, if you want to consistently translate terms that are specific to your use case, you can use glossaries to do that.

The edition you use depends on which version of the client libraries or service endpoint that you use.

If you are planning a new project, build your application with Cloud Translation - Advanced to take advantage of new features and service improvements. Cloud Translation - Basic remains available, but does not support new features like using glossaries, requesting batch translations, or using AutoML models.

For a comparison between the two editions, see Comparing Basic and Advanced.

Migrate to Advanced from Basic

If already have existing applications that use Cloud Translation - Basic, you can migrate them to use Cloud Translation - Advanced. To use Cloud Translation - Advanced, you must update applications to use, for example, service accounts and the Advanced edition client libraries. For more information, see Migrating to Cloud Translation - Advanced.

Custom translations (Advanced only)

In cases where the default model isn't generating high-quality results for a particular linguistic domain, you can provide a set of example translations to generate custom translations. Cloud Translation uses your examples to generate translations that follow your style, tone, and vocabulary. For example, custom translations might be useful if you regularly translate industry-specific content from the medical field or marketing content that needs to follow a specific style.

Cloud Translation provides two methods for customizing translations. You can train a custom model through AutoML Translation, or you can use adaptive translation (Preview). Train a model with AutoML Translation if your content uses a lot of industry-specific terminology. Adaptive translation might be a better fit if translated content should follow a unique style. For more information, see the Custom translations overview.


Cloud Translation charges you on a monthly basis based on the number of characters that you send. For more information, see Pricing.

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