I have tried to get ChatGPT to translate simple phrases in English to other languages (Non-European Asian languages). At least for simple phrases, it seems to translate things mostly correctly. How is it doing this?

Does ChatGPT have some kind of machine translation service running in the background? Or is the translation a part of ChatGPT's training as well?

I have only tried this on the free web version of ChatGPT.

  • 1
    I'm voting to close this question as it needs more focus and borderline off-topic as Questions regarding the internal workings of generative AI models.
    – holydragon
    Commented Jul 25, 2023 at 4:48
  • "chatgpt" is an ambiguous term. Many are using this term as a generic name. Are you using the term this way, or are you using it here to refer to the "original" ChatGPT, chat.openai.com?
    – Wicket
    Commented Jul 25, 2023 at 17:20
  • I'm not sure that we want questions "out of curiosity". It would be great if, besides clarifying what you mean by "chatgpt", you tell us if you have tried something if you have found something exciting related to your inquiry and why it doesn't meet your needs.
    – Wicket
    Commented Jul 25, 2023 at 17:22

1 Answer 1


Does chatgpt have some kind of machine translation service running in the background?

No. See OpenAI's CEO explicitly mentioned in March 2023 in the GPT-4 announcement video that GPT-4 isn't hooked to other services.

Or is the translation a part of chatgpt's training as well?

Yes. See Searching for Needles in a Haystack: On the Role of Incidental Bilingualism in PaLM's Translation Capability. Eleftheria BriakouColin CherryGeorge Foster. arxiv.org/abs/2305.10266

FYI, from https://arxiv.org/pdf/2005.14165.pdf, impact of the number of parameters of the LLMs on the translation abilities:

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The PaLM 2 Technical Report reports that PaLM 2 outperforms Google Translate in some settings.

One may also use LLMs for fine-grained machine translation evaluation.

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