Google software can now translate signs and speech

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Google updated its Translate app this week on iOS and Android, adding two major and rather useful features.

The first addition utilises Word Lens, software that enables Google Translate to translate signs captured via a phone’s camera in real time. All you have to do is point your phone camera at a sign or piece of text. The visual translations work in English, French, German, Italian, Portuguese, Russian and Spanish. Other languages require you to take a picture before translation can be done. Google implemented this feature after purchasing the developer behind Word Lens.

The second feature is rather clever, indeed. It instantly translates speech into different languages. To translate a conversation, all you have to do is press the microphone icon on the app’s interface, select the two languages that are being spoken, and speak into the microphone on your device. Then, a virtual translator will recognise which language is being spoken and will repeat what has been said in the other language.

Currently, live translation works for English to and from French, German, Italian, Portuguese, Russian and Spanish. Google says that it plans to support additional languages over time.

Thanks to technology such as this, language barriers are rapidly disappearing. This means that the days of wandering around with a language pocket book or trying to piece together sentences in a language that we haven’t spoken in years are coming to an end.

In Short: Google rolled out an update for Google Translate, adding the ability to translate signs and even conversations in real time.

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Posts from the Harvey Norman blog team.

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