Mozilla is working on integrating a privacy-focused rival to Google Translate that will enable Firefox users to read pages in different languages without gobbling up data.
The forthcoming tool for the Firefox web browser will perform the translation locally, whereas other services send the data to the cloud. Google Chrome, for example, has Google Translate built-in, but that data gets shipped to Google’s servers to convert to the new language.
Currently, those seeking page translation in Firefox need to install a third-party add on, but Mozilla is currently working on integrating the Bergamot project’s translation engine into the main site.
Bergamot, which has received just under €3m in funding from the European Union, is designed to bring translation client side to help people who have to translate sensitive information. Here’s a video of an early implementation being demonstrated within Firefox, by Mozilla’s Kelly Davis.
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“Unlike current cloud-based options, running directly on users’ machines empowers citizens to preserve their privacy and increases the uptake of language technologies in Europe in various sectors that require confidentiality. Free software integrated with an open-source web browser, such as Mozilla Firefox, will enable bottom-up adoption by non-experts, resulting in cost savings for private and public sector users who would otherwise procure translation or operate monolingually.”
It’s not clear when the feature will be rolled into the main Firefox browser, but the report says Mozilla is hiring neural machine translation engineers to help with the integration. We’ll keep you posted.
Mozilla is increasingly positioning itself as the browser for privacy-focused web users. The firm is currently working on a built in VPN, which is currently available to test in beta.