Data Playground

AI Translater

A translation tool that supports voice, file and keyboard input with 27 commonly used language types around the Waterloo Region.

About the project

Translate is a tool that uses a specialized translation system that was developed by Smart Waterloo Region Innovation Lab. It is a Neural Network Translator that is able to support voice, file and keyboard input with 27 commonly used language types around the Waterloo Region. To make the system more applicable, our translation functionality is designed to be easily applied to other existing apps and websites.

The problem statement

Canada is one of the most multicultural countries in the world. Children and youth are often translate for their parents. Especially if they are in a non-English/French as a first language household, but the external environment is just the opposite (ie. English/French-speaking). Many families experience difficulties adapting to both of the internal and external environments. To help with this issue, we decided to make an AI translator. The AI translator can assist children, youth, and families with multiple things including, voice translation, file translation, and typing translation. 

The results‍

The translation system is able to bring convenience to users from different cultural backgrounds. With the assistance of the translator, users are able to choose one of the input types and translate the content they want. For example, for users that are not good at handwriting, they can choose the voice input by simply pressing the microphone button. If the non-English speaking parents want to translate an English document from their child's school, they can directly load the file into the translator. Last but not the least, users can also translate any content through manually keyboard input.

Our partners

Family Compass - Children and Youth Planning Table

Key takeaways

The Translator can really help people with their daily life! Through conversations with different organizations and groups, we realized that lots of non-English/French speaking families currently really need the support of such a translation tool to assist their daily life.


The key point for developing a new system is whether it can truly help people in their daily life.

If we could time-travel and start this project again...

  • Have more conversations beforehand to figure out additional languages being needed.
  • Have more testing users with different cultural backgrounds to join.

Thanks to…

Thank you to Grayson, Saba, Hisy, and the entire SWRIL team! A special thanks goes to Zac, Hargun, and Elizabeth for helping to support! We appreciate all of your hard work!

Now what?

We are continuing to explore additional language types that may not be commonly used but are truly being demanded around the region, and adding them onto the Translation System.  The website will be live very soon! If you also have some ideas about the languages that you want to be supported with, try to contact us!

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