Google has revamps its translation app, letting users carry a conversation in two different languages, converting speech as each user talks into the phone.
The updated ‘Google Translate’ app allows users to select the two languages they’re working with and then once the app is in conversation mode, it will take care of the rest, allowing the users to have a more spontaneous and fluid conversation.
Google said the instant translation update can handle translations from English to and from French, German, Italian, Portuguese, Russian and Spanish, virtually dissolving the language barrier for globe trotters and people with families that may converse in several languages.
Even in areas without a data connection or Internet service, the app is still operational in camera mode.
Snap a photo of the text and Google will provide a translation in three-dozen languages.
Prior to the update, Google’s app could translate spoken or typed phrases and repeat them out loud. But it worked phrase-by-phrase, rather than in real time, and the pronunciations and rhythm of speech could sometimes be problematic.
Google said: “The Translate app already lets you use camera mode to snap a photo of text and get a translation for it in 36 languages. Now, we’re taking it to the next level and letting you instantly translate text using your camera.
“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.”
It said the feature was available for English to and from:
Google said users could also “tap the mic to get into voice translation mode, tap the mic again, and the Google Translate app will automatically recognise which of the two languages are being spoken, letting you have a more fluid conversation”.
The company said the update took people “one step closer to turning [their smartphone] into a universal translator and to a world where language is no longer a barrier”.
According to Google, more than 500 million people use its version every month to make more than one billion translations per day.
Google said the update would be available to both Android and iOS over the course of this week.