Google Translate: Translate voice, keyboard input, handwriting and images.
Google Translate is an amazing app that translates what you say to writing, as well as, to spoken language allowing you to converse in over 90 different languages. The app is multi featured. In addition to voice translation, the app translates handwriting, keyboard or image input. Imagine trying to ask questions about a menu while in a foreign country. Or, imagine trying to assist a customer who doesn’t speak your language. Google Translate can help.
You can easily carry on a conversation with someone even if you can’t speak or understand their language. My husband was trying to help a client with a series issue but the two spoke different languages – English & Hindu. After trying to figure out how to understand each other, my husband discovered Google Translate. He set his iPhone running the app on his desk and the client spoke in her natural language describing her issue. The app deciphered what she said and spoke it and wrote it in English! He then answered her question in English and Google Translate spoke and wrote the response in Hindu. The conversation went on very naturally and the problem was solved!
While the translation doesn’t come through perfectly every time, overall it does an excellent job.
If you prefer to type (or handwrite) in what you want translated you can do this easily. Enter any phrase or word and Google Translates it to the desired language in seconds. From there you can have the app speak the phrase, save the phrase or display it in large text for easy viewing. Saving the translation allows you to quickly access it for future use and reference.
Image Translation using your Camera
If you can’t read a sign or plaque, point your camera at it and Google Translate automatically converts the text to your selected language! I recently used this in Peru trying to read the description plaques located next to artwork in a museum. This feature, called Word Lens, is available in about 7 different languages.
In Camera Mode you can take a picture of the plaque or sign then highlight the text to get a translation. You can choose to send the translation to Google to help it build its library and to continue to improve the service. This feature is available in 36 different languages and can be used without an Internet connection!
The translation is not perfect every time but its few inaccuracies seem minor compared to the value the app provides.
Google Translate amazes me. It has the features of multiple apps wrapped in one and the ability to use many of the features without an Internet connection makes it even more functional. It offers tremendous value and I am surprised it is free.
- Free – Android & iOS
- $.99 on Windows Phone (and has less features)
Direct Download Links
- iOS – https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/google-translate/id414706506?mt=8
- Android – https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.google.android.apps.translate&hl=en
- Windows – http://www.windowsphone.com/en-us/store/app/google-translate/913dcf8c-dd68-4072-af95-cb4cdf07fb35
- Web Version – https://translate.google.com