How do offline translators work?

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While it’s easy to understand why online translators like Google Translate can break down a text and string a sentence in another language together, given its server’s computing power and an enormous database.

But how do some mobile offline translator apps work?

In: Technology

Translating individual words is very easy. An app may simply take a single word and look up the most common translation in a database (these word databases aren’t too big and can easily fit on a phone). What’s more difficult is getting the grammar of the target language right, but there may also be simple strategies for this: If a word is a verb, put it in another location in the sentence, for example. These strategies also don’t take up a lot of storage or computing power to use – but it’s very hard to come up with strategies that work well and make the text sound natural!
Nothing is really stopping a company from building an offline translator, however they would have to put these strategies (that they spent time and money on to develop) on the device. Competitors could then copy and steal their strategies, so offline translators are usually more simplistic and don’t use top-of-the-line strategies.