Traveling Abroad Just Got Easier With the Vastly Improved Google Translate App!

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Google Translate has been a useful tool for breaking down the language barrier, a common obstacle travelers face abroad.  But the app was far from perfect.  I’m amazed by the improvements!

Say What!? Google Translate Is Making It Easier for You to Communicate When Traveling Internationally

Google has just updated the app.  Along with improved translation, it comes with fantastic new features that will change your travel experience!  Let’s take a look at what the new Google Translate can do!

What’s Google Translate?

Google Translate is a free app you can download to your iPhone or Android mobile device.  It can translate over 90 languages into English including:

  • Chinese
  • Dutch
  • French
  • German
  • Greek
  • Hebrew
  • Hindi
  • Italian
  • Japanese
  • Spanish

Start by selecting the languages.

Traveling Abroad Just Got Easier With The Vastly Improved Google Translate App

Then Just Capture an Image, Type, Speak or Draw

Google Translate will give you the written and spoken translation!

Traveling Abroad Just Got Easier With The Vastly Improved Google Translate App

It’s a Question I Have to Ask!

Be sure to turn up the volume on your phone!

What’s New?

Translate Written Words Instantly

You can now use the camera on your phone to translate signs and other written text.  It’s easy to use and the technology is fascinating!

Currently this feature can translate between English and:

  • French
  • German
  • Italian
  • Portuguese
  • Spanish

Click on the camera icon and line up the text you’d like to translate.  

The translation appears in the image almost instantly!

Traveling Abroad Just Got Easier With The Vastly Improved Google Translate App

What Kind of Sorcery Is This?!

It’s really fun to play around with!

Improved Conversational Translation

Select your languages, tap the microphone button, and begin speaking.  Google Translate can now translate faster and detect the different languages as they are spoken, making for a more fluid conversation.

Mashable put together a great video showing Google Translator in action.

You can see from the video that there are plenty of misfires, but the app is still frequently able to get the point across.  And at times I was really amazed at the app’s translation capabilities!

Bottom Line

The Google Translate app has been updated!  It makes communicating while traveling abroad much easier!

You can now take a picture of text and watch it translate in front of your eyes!  Translations are also more accurate and it’s easier to carry on a conversation with your new friends from around the world.

Google Translate is still not perfect.  It makes many mistakes and it’s not anywhere near creating the experience of a fluent conversation.

But I love the technology and I’m excited to see it continue to improve!

Give the new updated Google Translate a try and let me know what you think!

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7 responses to “Traveling Abroad Just Got Easier With the Vastly Improved Google Translate App!

  1. My understanding is that it doesn’t work off line like some of the other apps out there that do translation of verbal or signs. Not sure if that’s true but I’ll find out in a couple weeks in Europe.

  2. Google Translate works well when you do not have an internet connection, but only if you have downloaded the appropriate language package in advance. You can test this out by setting your phone to airplane mode and turning off wi-fi, then trying a translation…if it doesn’t work, then you need to download the appropriate (free) language pack.

    The packs seem to be roughly 100 to 300 MB each in filesize, so you can fill a phone’s memory pretty fast if you try to load them all.

  3. I used it while in France before Google bought the company. It need plenty of work, but was helpful.

  4. @Miles … great suggestion. I tried in Airplane Mode and it didn’t work. So, I downloaded a couple of language packs. Tried again in Airplane Mode… Viola!

    Thanks for the heads-up, Darius.

  5. @Miles – Where should we download the language packs ? What is the app name. Thanks for your help

  6. Sabarish – app is called Google Translate.

    Offline languages are only available for Android. Go to Settings > Help and look for Translate offline for instructions on downloading offline languages.

  7. Here is the link for instructions to download language pack: https://support.google.com/translate/answer/6142473?hl=en&rd=1

    I just did one and it took somewhere between 5 and 10 minutes, so be patient.