How Amazon Translate works - Amazon Translate

How Amazon Translate works

Use the Amazon Translate service to translate content from a source language (the language of the input content) to a target language (the language that you select for the translation output). In a batch job, you can translate files from one or more source languages to one or more target languages. For more information about supported languages, see Supported languages and language codes.

Supported formats for the input content

Amazon Translate, supports the following formats for the input content:

  • For real-time translations:

    • Input text – Plain text in UTF-8 format. Amazon Translate provides the output content as UTF-8 text.

    • One input file – A file containing plain text (.txt), HTML (.html), or Word (.docx) content. Amazon Translate provides the output content as a file in the same format as the input file.

  • For batch translation jobs:

    • Collection of input files – One or more files that you upload to an Amazon S3 location. Supported file formats include plain text (.txt), HTML (.html), Word (.docx), Excel (.xlsx), PowerPoint (.pptx) and XLIFF 1.2 (.xlf). Amazon Translate provides the output content as files. The file format for each output file matches the input file format.

Customizing your translations

You can use the following features to customize the translations that you produce with Amazon Translate:

  • Do-not-translate tags – Uses start and end tags to specify content that you don't want to translate (in HTML content).

  • Custom terminology – Defines how you want Amazon Translate to translate specific terms, such as brand names.

  • Brevity – Reduces the length of the translation output for most translations (compared to the translation output without brevity). Brevity is supported for real-time text translations.

  • Profanity – Masks profane words and phrases in your translation output.

  • Formality – Sets the level of language formality in your translation output.

  • Parallel data – Adapts the translation output to reflect the style, tone, and word choices in the example translation samples that you provide.

For information, see Customizing your translations.

Automatic language detection

Amazon Translate can automatically detect the language used in your source text. To use automatic language detection, specify auto as the source language. Amazon Translate calls Amazon Comprehend on your behalf to determine the language used in the source text. By choosing automatic language detection, you agree to the service terms and agreements for Amazon Comprehend. For information about pricing for Amazon Comprehend, see Amazon Comprehend Pricing.

Exception handling

If you specify a source or target language that isn't supported, Amazon Translate returns the following exceptions:

  • UnsupportedLanguagePairException – Amazon Translate supports translation between all supported languages. This exception is returned if either the source language or target language is unsupported. For more information, see Supported languages.

  • DetectedLanguageLowConfidenceException – If you use automatic language detection, and Amazon Translate has low confidence that it detected the correct source language, it returns this exception. If a low confidence level is acceptable, you can use the source language returned in the exception.