Mobile Technology

Google Translate app now translates street signs and real-time conversations

Google Translate app now trans...
Google has updated its Google Translate app for Android and iOS
Google has updated its Google Translate app for Android and iOS
View 2 Images
Google has updated its Google Translate app for Android and iOS
1/2
Google has updated its Google Translate app for Android and iOS
Word Lens functionality allows Google Translate users to translate foreign signs into their native language
2/2
Word Lens functionality allows Google Translate users to translate foreign signs into their native language

Not so long ago, the idea of a universal language translation device making the jump from science fiction to reality seemed preposterous. Google Translate, however, is fast becoming that device. Its most recent update includes seamless conversation and foreign text translation.

Voice translation has been available as part of the Android version of the Google Translate app since the back end of 2013. It could only translate one phrase at a time, however. The new version of the app can act as a real-time translator between two people speaking in different languages.

In order to use the real-time speech translation in a conversational setting, users need only open the app and press the microphone button. If speech in a foreign language is detected first it will be immediately translated into the user's native language, spoken aloud and displayed on-screen. The user can then press the microphone button again to respond in their native tongue and have it immediately translated to the foreign language.

From this point forward, the app will recognize both languages as they are spoken and will translate them each time a phrase is uttered. There is no further need to press the microphone button, and the individuals are able to have a seamless conversation with their smartphone or tablet acting as interpreter.

Word Lens functionality allows Google Translate users to translate foreign signs into their native language
Word Lens functionality allows Google Translate users to translate foreign signs into their native language

In addition to the speech translation functionality, the Google Translate app also has a Word Lens function. This allows users to train their device's camera on some foreign text, such as a street sign, and get an instant translation on-screen. Previously, it had been possible for individuals using the Android app to take a photo of text and use the app to translate it, but this update makes the process more seamless.

Word Lens can currently translate from English to and from French, German, Italian, Portuguese, Russian and Spanish. Google says it is "working to expand to more languages."

The update to the Google Translate app is rolling out this week and is available on Android and iOS.

The video below shows the Google Translate app in action.

Source: Google

Have a conversation with Google Translate

4 comments
Tom Collins
Still NO good reason to not know the language of a country you decide to live in 2000 miles deep
xs400
Is it standalone or does it require a connection to Google's servers?
noteugene
This is what thousands have been attempting to achieve since Alexander Grahm Bell and you'd think there'd be a bit more applause here right? Look at all the attempts and fails here on gizmag alone.
GadgetsFreak
Image translation can be a tough task..may be Google needs volunteers..plenty of them. I read here http://gadgetspost.com, they might even offer some rewards? Not sure though.