Google shuts down use of Translate API by developers

Google Translate APIWe’re constantly talking about all the new iPhone apps with translation capabilities. Many of these have used Google’s machine translation technology to give the public access to on-the-go translation. However, the overuse of Google’s API has caused the web giant to take steps to limit the public’s free access.

Google Translate’s API (Application Programming Interface) refers to the coding used by app developers to insert the translation software into their products. Without going into detail, this works in much the same way as embedding a video from YouTube into a website.

Google cited “substantial economic burden caused by extensive abuse” as the reason for the API shutdown.

While this will affect mobile apps, users can still receive translations by accessing with their mobile phones. Websites using the API will also be affected, but Google encouraged webmasters to insert the Google Translate Element into their sites. The Translate Element consists of a drop-down menu for language selection.

Editor’s note: Just 2 days after this blog post was published, the Google Code Blog removed its post on the deletion of the Translate API — we deleted the link to lessen any confusion (Google Code Blog main page). However, Google language-related APIs are still deprecated.