Releasing LiveTranslate - automatic simultaneous translation

I am tired of Americanism: consuming in the Anglosphere sometimes makes me feel like all movies are the same. America is a great country for allowing a massive quantity of various productions to flourish however due to commercialisation pressures some creativity is stiffled.

Growing up I enjoyed some Soviet cinema. Most of it was boring however some films I loved and kept rewatching. However these days I can’t find Russian stuff with dubs/subtitles - so I am forced to watch this stuff alone. And sometimes I want to share the experience. This led me to consider the possibilities of leveraging large language models (LLMs) to facilitate translation for such content.

Current transcription technologies like DeepGram offer decent performance, but there’s an evident bias towards Western languages. When it comes to Russian and Polish, for instance, inaccuracies are more common. Those inaccuracies could easily be fixed by an LLM post-processing the result: I experimented with using an LLM to improve the quality of these transcriptions, but real-time processing is still beyond our reach due to the response times of models like GPT-3.5-turbo (let alone GPT-4).

When it comes to the translation, again LLMs are just not fast enough to translate real-time, so I am sticking with Google Translate. And surely enough I can just preprocessing most content and translate thing myself - but that’s much more effort than just putting something on.

In the meantime, I’ve found that automatic translation can be quite useful for those who have a basic grasp of the source language. It serves as a helpful tool for understanding and learning, similar to how one might pick up slang from context within a movie. This has proven especially true for me with Polish content - all of a sudden I found it understandable (a Russian speaker typically doesn’t understand Polish but can read a lot of it without any learning).

Given the current limitations of real-time translation, I’ve decided to release my project, LiveTranslate, on GitHub. It’s a practical solution for now, particularly for programmers who might be interested in contributing to its development. The project has potential for further enhancements, especially in the areas of user interface and increased accuracy.

The repository is now available for access and contribution. This release is for those who share an interest in making non-English content more accessible and are looking for a way to integrate programming skills with language translation. The hope is that as LLMs improve in latency, so too will the capabilities of LiveTranslate.


Demo of the livetranslate