DeepL Translator

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DeepL Translator
DeepL logo.svg
Screenshot of DeepL Translator.png
DeepL Translator homepage
Type of site
Neural machine translation
Available in24 languages
OwnerDeepL GmbH
Created byLinguee
Launched28 August 2017; 3 years ago (2017-08-28)
Current statusActive

DeepL Translator is a free neural machine translation service launched on 28 August 2017 and developed by DeepL GmbH (Linguee), based in Cologne, Germany.[1][2][3] It has received positive press asserting that it is more accurate and nuanced than Google Translate.[4][5]

DeepL currently offers translations between the following 24 languages and 552 language pairs: Bulgarian, Chinese (Simplified), Czech, Danish, Dutch, English (US or UK), Estonian, Finnish, French, German, Greek, Hungarian, Italian, Japanese, Latvian, Lithuanian, Polish, Portuguese, Brazilian Portuguese, Romanian, Russian, Slovak, Slovene, Spanish and Swedish.[3] Additionally, approximations of language equivalence are proposed among all of those languages, using a two-step process via an English pivot.

There are no advertisements on DeepL. The company wants to earn money by licensing a translation application programming interface.[6]

Translation methodology[edit]

The algorithm and source code are closed-source and proprietary.[7] The service uses convolutional neural networks (CNNs)[4] that have been trained with the Linguee database.[8] It is based on neural networks, but the details of the technique have not been disclosed.[9] According to the developers, the service uses a newer, much improved architecture of neural networks, which results in a more natural sound of translations compared to competing services.[9] The translation is generated using a supercomputer that reaches 5.1 petaflops and is operated in Iceland with hydropower.[2][10][11] In general, CNNs are slightly more suitable for long, coherent word sequences, but have so far not been used by the competition due to their weaknesses compared to recurrent neural networks. The weaknesses at DeepL are compensated for with additional tricks, some of which are publicly known.[4][12][13]

Word documents in .docx format as well as PowerPoint presentations (.pptx) can also be translated. Footnotes, formatting and embedded images are retained.[14]

Portuguese and Russian were added to DeepL Translator on 5 December 2018,[5][15] and Chinese (Simplified) and Japanese on 19 March 2020.[16][17][18] 13 more European languages were added in March 2021.[19]

A free and unofficial browser extension was released in July 2018 for Google Chrome and Firefox.[20][21]

DeepL released translation software for Microsoft Windows and macOS in September 2019.[22][23]

Its principle is based on an indexing robot for collecting translations already existing on websites.


Free use[edit]

Use is free of charge up to a text length of 5,000 characters.[23] Commercial customers can use a paid application programming interface to embed DeepL in their software, from €5.99 per month for personal use.[24] In addition, DeepL is financed by on-screen advertising on its sister site[25]


The DeepL Pro paid subscription service for professional translators, companies and developers, which has been available since March 2018, has a programming interface and a software plug-in for computer-assisted translation tools, including SDL Trados Studio. In contrast to the free version, translated texts are not saved; the text length in the input field is not limited to 5,000 characters. The pricing model provides for a basic monthly fee that includes a set amount of text. Texts beyond this are calculated according to the number of characters.[26] Confidentiality features are also available to deliver translations of submitted text and delete the text as soon as the translation is complete.[23] In addition to text input, Microsoft Word and PowerPoint documents can be uploaded for translation.[18]

In October 2018, the pricing model was revised so that various options are available instead of just one payment model.[27]


The site prohibits users from using the service for the translation of personal and sensitive information of third parties. Simultaneously, without advertising or sponsored results, DeepL uses their HTTP cookies to re-identify users and associate them with pseudonymous user profiles.[28]

A disclaimer excludes any liability for the quality of the translations, while the contents are the property of DeepL GmbH and are subject to copyright,[29] which may also include those entered by users and self-learning by the algorithm.

The site complies with European Union General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) regulations.[30]

Company history[edit]

The company was founded in 2008 by Gereon Frahling and Leonard Fink in Cologne under the name Linguee GmbH. They set up a dictionary for 25 languages that can be used for translation via an online service. With the release of DeepL 2017, the company name was changed to DeepL GmbH.[31] In March 2020, Deepl announced that it had achieved a significant increase in performance compared to its competitors by modifying its AI system.[32]


Number of visits on DeepL

According to data from the aggregator, as of January 2019, the website DeepL Translator has about 312,000 unique daily users and 2.5 million views.[33] Although it has far fewer languages available for translation than competing products, DeepL Translator is ranked 2149th in the Alexa ranking of the most visited sites in the world.[34] In Germany it ranks 276th, with 30% of the site's users concentrated, followed by France, Switzerland, Spain and Italy. In August 2018, the threshold of 20 million people using it was crossed. As of 12 May 2019, 21.8% of traffic comes from Germany, 17.4% from France, 10% from Spain, 7.9% from Switzerland and 4.1% from Poland.

In the rankings, compiled from a sample of around 3,000 respondents in 58 countries, DeepL Translator is ranked 150th for the second consecutive year, qualified as a software for individual productivity.[35]

Its main competitors are Google Translate, Microsoft Translator and Yandex.Translate.


Reception of the DeepL Translator has been generally positive, with TechCrunch appreciating it for the accuracy of its translations, stating that it was more accurate and nuanced than Google Translate,[4] and Le Monde thanking its developers for translating French text into more 'French-sounding' expressions.[36] A news article from the website of the Dutch television channel RTL Z stated that DeepL Translator "offers better translations […] when it comes to Dutch to English and vice versa".[37]

Other news agencies and news websites have shown their praise for DeepL Translator, such as the Italian newspaper la Repubblica[38] and the Latin American website WWWhat's new?.[39]

When published, DeepL claims to have surpassed its competitors in blind tests, including Google Translate, Amazon Translate, Microsoft Translator and Facebook,[40][41][42][43][44][45][46] but independent measurements have not yet compared the services.[47] Specifically, 119 paragraphs of text from various fields were extracted and translated by each service, and then the translations were evaluated by expert translators outside the company.[18] In addition, the Japanese translations were found to be accurate, even when the text was mixed with dialects.[48] DeepL Translator won the 2020 Webby Award for Best Practices, and the 2020 Webby Award for Technical Achievement (Apps, Mobile, and Features), both in the category Apps, Mobile & Voice.[49]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Publisher". Archived from the original on 29 July 2020. Retrieved 10 August 2020.
  2. ^ a b "Press Information". Archived from the original on 30 March 2019. Retrieved 1 September 2019.
  3. ^ a b Wagner, Janet (20 March 2018). "DeepL Language Translator Expands with Pro Edition and RESTful API". ProgrammableWeb. Archived from the original on 27 March 2019. Retrieved 10 August 2020.
  4. ^ a b c d Coldewey, Devin; Lardinois, Frederic (29 August 2017). "DeepL schools other online translators with clever machine learning". TechCrunch. Archived from the original on 20 February 2018. Retrieved 1 September 2019.
  5. ^ a b Smolentceva, Natalia (5 December 2018). "DeepL: Cologne-based startup outperforms Google Translate". Deutsche Welle. Archived from the original on 5 December 2018. Retrieved 6 December 2018.
  6. ^ van Miltenburg, Olaf (29 August 2017). "Duits bedrijf DeepL claimt betere vertaaldienst dan Google te bieden" [German company DeepL claims to offer better translation service than Google]. Tweakers (in Dutch). Archived from the original on 11 June 2020. Retrieved 10 August 2020.
  7. ^ Yitaek, Hwang (6 October 2017). "Transformer vs. DeepL: Attention Based Approaches to Machine Translation". Archived from the original on 31 January 2018. Retrieved 6 May 2018.
  8. ^ Sanz, Didier (12 March 2018). "Des traductions en ligne plus intelligentes" [Smarter online translations]. Le Figaro (in French).
  9. ^ a b " - Sprístupnený nový prekladač postavený na umelej inteligencii, tvrdí že je najlepší" [A new translator based on artificial intelligence has been made available, claims to be the best]. (in Slovak). 30 August 2017. Archived from the original on 3 July 2020. Retrieved 10 August 2020. Prekladač rovnako ako prekladače najlepších existujúcich konkurentov využíva techniku umelej inteligencie a strojového učenia neurónové siete. Podľa tvorcov ale používa inú výrazne vylepšenú architektúru neurónových sietí s inak prepojenými neurónmi ako doterajšie prekladače, čo mu umožňuje prekladať jazyky prirodzenejšie. Detaily technológie zatiaľ nezverejní. (The translator, like the translators of the best existing competitors, uses the technique of artificial intelligence and neural network machine learning. According to the creators, however, it uses a different, significantly improved architecture of neural networks with differently connected neurons than previous translators, which allows it to translate languages more naturally. Details of the technology will not be published yet.)
  10. ^ Feldman, Michael (31 August 2017). "Startup Launches Language Translator That Taps into Five-Petaflop Supercomputer". TOP500. Archived from the original on 31 August 2017. Retrieved 6 June 2018.
  11. ^ Schwan, Ben (31 August 2017). "Maschinenintelligenz: Der Besserübersetzer" [Machine Intelligence: The Better Translator]. heise online (in German). Heinz Heise. Technology Review. Archived from the original on 28 January 2018. Retrieved 27 January 2018.
  12. ^ Bahdanau, Dzmitry; Cho, Kyunghyun; Bengio, Yoshua (1 September 2014). Neural Machine Translation by Jointly Learning to Align and Translate. arXiv:1409.0473.
  13. ^ Pouget-Abadie, Jean; Bahdanau, Dzmitry; van Merrienboer, Bart; Cho, Kyunghyun; Bengio, Yoshua (October 2014). "Overcoming the Curse of Sentence Length for Neural Machine Translation using Automatic Segmentation". Proceedings of SSST-8, Eighth Workshop on Syntax, Semantics and Structure in Statistical Translation. Stroudsburg, PA, USA: Association for Computational Linguistics: 78–85. arXiv:1409.1257. doi:10.3115/v1/w14-4009. S2CID 353451.
  14. ^ "One-click Document Translation with DeepL". 18 July 2018. Archived from the original on 30 March 2019. Retrieved 18 July 2018.
  15. ^ "New languages: Russian and Portuguese!". 5 December 2018. Archived from the original on 29 July 2020. Retrieved 10 August 2020.
  16. ^ "DeepL Translator learns Japanese and Chinese". 19 March 2020. Archived from the original on 19 March 2020. Retrieved 19 March 2020.
  17. ^ Berger, Daniel (19 March 2020). "KI-Übersetzer DeepL unterstützt Japanisch und Chinesisch" [AI translator DeepL supports Japanese and Chinese]. heise online (in German). Heinz Heise. Archived from the original on 24 March 2020. Retrieved 24 March 2020.
  18. ^ a b c "'DeepL hon'yaku' ga nihongo taiō,'shizen'na yakubun' to wadai ni Doku benchā ga kaihatsu" 「DeepL翻訳」が日本語対応、「自然な訳文」と話題に 独ベンチャーが開発 ["DeepL Translator" is now available in Japanese, and the German venture has developed a "natural translation"]. (in Japanese). ITmedia NEWS. 23 March 2020. Archived from the original on 24 March 2020. Retrieved 24 March 2020.
  19. ^
  20. ^ "Deep Translator". Chrome Web Store. Archived from the original on 26 January 2019. Retrieved 10 August 2020.
  21. ^ "Deep Translator – Scarica l'estensione per 🦊 Firefox (it)" [Deep Translator - Download the extension for 🦊 Firefox (en)]. (in Italian). Archived from the original on 26 January 2019. Retrieved 10 August 2020.
  22. ^ "DeepL integration in Windows and Mac". 12 September 2019. Archived from the original on 29 July 2020. Retrieved 10 August 2020.
  23. ^ a b c Tarui, Hideto (23 March 2020). "Odoroki no hinshitsu o mushō de ~ AI hon'yaku sābisu "DeepL hon'yaku" ga nihongo to chūgokugo ni taiō - madonoto" 驚きの品質を無償で ~AI翻訳サービス“DeepL翻訳”が日本語と中国語に対応 - 窓の杜 [Amazing quality free of charge - AI translation service "DeepL Translation" is available in Japanese and Chinese]. (in Japanese). Mado no Mori. Archived from the original on 23 March 2020. Retrieved 24 March 2020.
  24. ^ "DeepL Pro". Archived from the original on 7 June 2020. Retrieved 26 April 2019.
  25. ^ Schwan, Ben (2 October 2017). "Maschinelles Übersetzen: Deutsches Start-up DeepL will 230 Sprachkombinationen unterstützen" [Machine translation: German start-up DeepL wants to support 230 language combinations]. heise online (in German). Heinz Heise. Archived from the original on 18 January 2018. Retrieved 17 January 2018.
  26. ^ Berger, Daniel (20 March 2018). "DeepL Pro: Neuer Aboservice für Profi-Übersetzer, Firmen und Entwickler" [DeepL Pro: New subscription service for professional translators, companies and developers]. heise online (in German). Heinz Heise. Archived from the original on 20 March 2018. Retrieved 20 March 2018.
  27. ^ "New DeepL Pro pricing plans: Free trial, lower prices, team accounts". 11 October 2018. Archived from the original on 30 March 2019. Retrieved 20 October 2018.
  28. ^ "DeepL - Privacy". Archived from the original on 30 March 2019. Retrieved 26 April 2019.
  29. ^ "DeepL – Terms & conditions". Archived from the original on 16 April 2020. Retrieved 26 January 2019.
  30. ^ "Deepl traducteur - Liens Web" [DeepL Translator]. Technifree (in French). Archived from the original on 26 January 2019. Retrieved 10 August 2020.
  31. ^ "Unternehmensregister" [Business register] (in German). Bundesanzeiger. Archived from the original on 7 September 2017. Retrieved 7 September 2018.
  32. ^ Neuhaus, Elisabeth (25 March 2020). "Spekuliert Deepl auf den Google-Exit, Jaroslaw Kutylowski?" [Is Deepl speculating on the Google exit, Jaroslaw Kutylowski?] (in German). Gründerszene. Archived from the original on 1 April 2020. Retrieved 21 April 2020.
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  34. ^ " Traffic, Demographics and Competitors". Alexa Internet. Archived from the original on 25 January 2019. Retrieved 10 August 2020.
  35. ^ Hart, Jane. "Top Tools for Learning 2018". Archived from the original on 21 March 2019. Retrieved 26 January 2019.
  36. ^ Larousserie, David; Leloup, Damien (29 August 2017). "Quel est le meilleur service de traduction en ligne ?" [What is the best online translation service?]. Le Monde (in French). Archived from the original on 31 May 2019. Retrieved 1 September 2019. Sur un bref extrait d'une tribune, au style sobre d'un ministre, DeepL a également obtenu de meilleurs résultats que les autres services, grâce à des tournures de phrase plus « françaises » et en évitant un petit piège : les quatre autres ont traduit « to discuss these issues further » par « discuter de ces questions plus loin », ce qui n'est pas correct. DeepL a lui correctement traduit par « discuter de ces questions plus en profondeur ». (In a brief excerpt from a podium, in the sober style of a minister, DeepL also obtained better results than the other services, thanks to more "French" turns of phrase and by avoiding a small trap: the other four translated "to discuss these issues further" by "discuter de ces questions plus loin", which is not correct. DeepL correctly translated it as "discuter de ces questions plus en profondeur".)
  37. ^ Verlaan, Daniël (29 August 2017). "Duits bedrijf belooft betere vertalingen dan Google Translate" [German company promises better translations than Google Translate]. (in Dutch). RTL Group. Archived from the original on 8 October 2020. Retrieved 1 September 2017. Volgens DeepL worden hun vertaalresultaten door professionele vertalers ongeveer drie keer zo vaak als het beste resultaat gekozen. Uit een paar testen blijkt inderdaad dat DeepL Translator betere vertalingen biedt dan Google Translate als het gaat om Nederlands naar Engels en vice versa. (According to DeepL, their translation results are chosen by professional translators about three times as often as the best result. A few tests have indeed shown that DeepL Translator offers better translations than Google Translate when it comes to Dutch to English and vice versa.)
  38. ^ "Arriva DeepL, il traduttore automatico che sfida Google" [Here comes DeepL, the automatic translator that challenges Google]. la Repubblica (in Italian). 29 August 2017. Archived from the original on 1 September 2019. Retrieved 1 September 2019. Il team della DeepL utilizza questo supercomputer per addestrare le reti di traduzione neurale su una vasta collezione di testi multilingue. Durante l'addestramento, le reti esaminano una moltitudine di traduzioni e imparano a tradurre in maniera indipendente, con una grammatica e una formulazione corrette. ... Nel corso dell'ultimo decennio DeepL ha raccolto oltre un miliardo di testi tradotti di alta qualità, collezionando il miglior materiale d'addestramento possibile per una rete di traduzione neurale. (The DeepL team uses this supercomputer to train neural translation networks on a large collection of multilingual texts. During training, the networks examine a multitude of translations and learn to translate independently, with correct grammar and wording. ... Over the past decade, DeepL has collected over a billion high-quality translated texts, collecting the best possible training material for a neural translation network.)
  39. ^ Polo, Juan Diego (29 August 2017). "DeepL, un traductor online que supera al de Google, Microsoft y Facebook" [DeepL, an online translator that outperforms Google, Microsoft and Facebook]. WWWhat's new? (in Spanish). Archived from the original on 1 September 2019. Retrieved 1 September 2019. Desde DeepL nos presentan un traductor que quiere revolucionar el mundo de la traducción automática neuronal, ofreciéndolo de forma gratuita en (DeepL presents us with a translator that wants to revolutionise the world of neural machine translation, offering it for free on
  40. ^ "DeepL — Translation quality". Archived from the original on 20 March 2020. Retrieved 10 March 2020.
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  45. ^ Gröhn, Anna (17 September 2017). "DeepL: Was taugt der Online-Übersetzer im Vergleich zu Bing und Google Translate" [DeepL: What does the online translator do compared to Bing and Google Translate]. Der Spiegel (Spiegel Online) (in German). Der Spiegel. Archived from the original on 24 January 2018. Retrieved 27 January 2018.
  46. ^ Faes, Florian (30 August 2017). "Linguee's Founder Launches DeepL in Attempt to Challenge Google Translate". Slator. Archived from the original on 6 May 2018. Retrieved 10 August 2020.
  47. ^ Benjamin, Martin (30 March 2009). "Is DeepL Better than Google Translate? A No, A Punt, and A Yes - When & How to Use Google Translate". Teach You Backwards. Archived from the original on 24 December 2019. Retrieved 27 December 2019.
  48. ^ "Mechakucha seido ga takai to wadai no kikai hon'yaku 'DeepL hon'yaku' ni nihongo no hon'yaku kinō ga tōjō shitanode jissai ni tsukattemita" めちゃくちゃ精度が高いと話題の機械翻訳「DeepL翻訳」に日本語の翻訳機能が登場したので実際に使ってみた [The much-talked-about "DeepL Translate" now has a Japanese translation function, so we tried it out]. (in Japanese). GIGAZINE. 23 March 2020. Archived from the original on 23 March 2020. Retrieved 24 March 2020.
  49. ^ Kastrenakes, Jacob; Peters, Jay (20 May 2020). "Webby Awards 2020: the complete winners list". The Verge. Archived from the original on 21 May 2020. Retrieved 22 May 2020.


Heiss, Christine; Soffritti, Marcello (2008). "inTRAlinea. online translation journal > Special Issues > Special Issue: Translation And Interpreting for Language Learners (TAIL) > DeepL Traduttore e didattica della traduzione dall'italiano in tedesco" [DeepL Translator and didactics of translation from Italian into German. Some preliminary assessments]. (in Italian). University of Bologna, Italy. Retrieved 28 January 2019.

External links[edit]