Many of us have used Google Translate to get a basic translation of a sentence or paragraph. Barak Turovsky, Product Lead for Google Translate, wrote in a recent blog that the service is used by over 500 million unique users a month and that they support over 1 billion translation requests a day. Wow! This number is going to continue to increase as they add more and more capabilities to this service.
Point and Translate
Google Translate allows users to take a picture of a sign and it will translate the text. This feature is certainly useful. But, with the latest release you can simply point your iOS or Android smartphone camera at a sign or menu and it will provide an overlay on your screen with the translation. No "point and shoot" needed, just point. This feature allows users to save memory by not taking a photo and, more importantly, it is easier to use which should result in added use. This service currently works for translation of English to/from French, German, Italian, Portuguese, Russian and Spanish. More languages will be rolled out over time.
Google Translate's new and improved conversation translator may cause you to book a trip to a foreign language speaking country just to try it out. They have offered a conversation translator feature since 2013 for Android phones to interpret someone speaking in another language. Unfortunately, the initial offering of this service was very slow, which of course, resulted in a lower number of users. The latest version works at practically a conversational speed. Here is a link to see a Google demo of the feature: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ouTJc4ZBUf0
Some online reviewers comment that it is not perfect, which is to be expected. Humans can miss-hear what has been said depending on how the person speaks, so can this app. But from my trial with it and seeing videos of other independent demos and reviews, I would say it does a very good job and it will be an app feature I plan to use on trips.
I strongly encourage you to give these latest Google Translate features a try and test the latest version. Google's newest version of their translator app makes their camera and conversation translator functions faster, easier to use and more accurate. Each of these features are now available for iOS and Android devices.
Additional Resources on Language Translation Services
GPI provides extensive language translation services including document translation, website translation and software translation. GPI has developed a user-friendly translation portal that makes it extremely easy for non-technical users to submit projects for translation. You will find the links below to some of our blogs on translation and tools highly useful:
- What is a translation memory (TM)?
- Translation Challenges with Phrasal Verbs
- 3 Metrics for Measuring Language Translation Quality
Globalization Partners International, a premiere translation company, helps customers enter new markets by providing comprehensive translation services into a variety of languages. Free translation quotes can be obtained from GPI by submitting source files through our Request a Translation Quote. You may contact GPI at firstname.lastname@example.org or at 866-272-5874 with your specific questions about your target global markets and your project goals.
About the Author
Director, Global Accounts. Peter has over 18 years’ experience in business development within the localization industry supporting clients for documentation, software and website globalization services. He started his career in the translation industry in 1995 and over the years has worked for several leading localization service providers including LMI, Berlitz, Welocalize, GPI and Beyondsoft. Throughout his career Peter has led by example and always put his clients’ needs first to ensure client expectations are understood and successfully met. Over the years Peter has trained extensively in Solution Selling, Action Selling and Localization Sales, Testing and Project Management. Peter handles many of GPI’s global accounts helping educate clients on GPI’s comprehensive suite of globalization services and industry best practices.More Content by Peter Betts