Many of us have used Google Translate to get a basic translation of a sentence or paragraph. Barak Turovsky, Product Lead for Google Translate, wrote in a recent blog that the service is used by over 500 million unique users a month and that they support over 1 billion translation requests a day. Wow! This number is going to continue to increase as they add more and more capabilities to this service.
Point and Translate
Google Translate allows users to take a picture of a sign and it will translate the text. This feature is certainly useful. But, with the latest release you can simply point your iOS or Android smartphone camera at a sign or menu and it will provide an overlay on your screen with the translation. No “point and shoot” needed, just point. This feature allows users to save memory by not taking a photo and, more importantly, it is easier to use which should result in added use. This service currently works for translation of English to/from French, German, Italian, Portuguese, Russian and Spanish. More languages will be rolled out over time.
Google Translate’s new and improved conversation translator may cause you to book a trip to a foreign language speaking country just to try it out. They have offered a conversation translator feature since 2013 for Android phones to interpret someone speaking in another language. Unfortunately, the initial offering of this service was very slow, which of course, resulted in a lower number of users. The latest version works at practically a conversational speed. Here is a link to see a Google demo of the feature: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ouTJc4ZBUf0
Some online reviewers comment that it is not perfect, which is to be expected. Humans can miss-hear what has been said depending on how the person speaks, so can this app. But from my trial with it and seeing videos of other independent demos and reviews, I would say it does a very good job and it will be an app feature I plan to use on trips.
I strongly encourage you to give these latest Google Translate features a try and test the latest version. Google’s newest version of their translator app makes their camera and conversation translator functions faster, easier to use and more accurate. Each of these features are now available for iOS and Android devices.
Additional Resources on Language Translation Services
GPI provides extensive language translation services including document translation, website translation and software translation. GPI has developed a user-friendly translation portal that makes it extremely easy for non-technical users to submit projects for translation. You will find the links below to some of our blogs on translation and tools highly useful: