Technology has advanced quite a lot over the last few years and the ideas that seemed preposterous have become a reality now. Who would have thought that one day we’d be able to translate different languages and hence, talk to people who speak different languages than us in real-time? Google Translate has made that possible with its recent update that covers flawless conversation translation and foreign text translation without taking a picture.
Although voice translation was incorporated into the Android version of the Google Translate app by the end of 2013, it was capable of translating only one phrase at a time. The new update allows the app to carry out translation in real-time while two persons speak in different languages.
For users to make use of the real-time speech translation feature of the app, they will have to open the app and tap on the microphone button and foreign speech is detected and translated into user’s native language, followed by the translation being spoken aloud and displayed on-screen as well. Then the user has to tap the microphone button and respond in his native tongue. The app translates it into the foreign language and after that, the app is capable of recognizing both languages when they are spoken and can translate them into the particular language without the user having to press microphone button again and again. So, both participants of the conversation are capable of carrying out a conversation while their smartphones/tablets work as interpreters.
Another feature of this update is the Word Lens function that allows user to have the device’s camera focus on foreign text, such as a street sign, and the app is able to provide instant translation of the text. With the previous versions, user had to take a picture of the text and then use the app to translate it. The update has resulted in making the process easier and far more seamless.
Word Lens, as of now, is able to translate from English to and from German, French, Portuguese, Spanish, Russian and Italian. However, Google says that it is ‘working to expand to more languages.’ The update will be rolled out this week for both iOS and Android.