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December 8, 2016

Google Translate's 5000 Character Limit

For some reason, Google Translate now has a limit of 5000 characters per translation. There's even a character counter at the bottom of the input box. If you happen to paste a long text that has more than 5000 characters, you'll get an error message ("maximum characters exceeded: X characters over 5000 maximum") and a "translate more" option that lets you translate the rest of the text.


I don't understand the purpose of this restriction, considering that Google doesn't impose any limitation when translating web pages. It's worth pointing out that Google Translate's API has a similar limitation: "the maximum size of each text to be translated is 5000 characters, not including any HTML tags". Google's translation card from Google Search has a different limit: about 2800 characters.

16 comments:

  1. I would posit that the translate website is now fed through the API.It makes a lot of sense from a dev/ops POV.

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  2. Incidentally, Google App Engine has the same 5000 character limit for storing strings - might be related.

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  3. I'm guessing it might be related to the 8192 character limit for GET requests. If you take into account escaped characters, the lenght of the URL might increase considerably, so that's why they chose a fairly safe limit for that.

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  4. Hi,

    hm... is it not a first sign of paid version of Google Translator?

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