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January 14, 2015

Google Translate Gets New Real-Time Capabilities

Google Translate received a much-anticipated update today that enables the app to offer more “fluid” real-time translation of spoken foreign languages as well as translation of text via the user’s camera.

Users of the app can now simply snap a picture of foreign writing, on a sign for instance, and Google Translate will offer up the translated text overlaid on the user’s screen.

Word+Lens+GIF+iPhone“We’re taking it to the next level and letting you instantly translate text using your camera—so it’s way easier to navigate street signs in the Italian countryside or decide what to order off a Barcelona menu,” reads a Google blog post.

“While using the Translate app, just point your camera at a sign or text and you’ll see the translated text overlaid on your screen—even if you don’t have an Internet or data connection.”

Translation is currently available for English to and from French, German, Italian, Portuguese, Russian and Spanish. More languages are to be added over time.

The second half of the update enables Translate to identify if a person is speaking a popular language and then automatically provides what was said in written text.

“Starting today, simply tap the mic to start speaking in a selected language, then tap the mic again, and the Google Translate app will automatically recognize which of the two languages are being spoken, letting you have a more fluid conversation,” reads the post. “For the rest of the conversation, you won’t need to tap the mic again—it’ll be ready as you need it. Asking for directions to the Rive Gauche, ordering bacalhau in Lisbon, or chatting with your grandmother in her native Spanish just got a lot faster.”

The updates will be available to Android and iOS users and will roll out over the next few days.


Jennifer Cowan is the Managing Editor for SiteProNews.