Google Translate, the app that allows you to translate between 103 different languages, has a small but important update rolling out in the Play Store today. The update is version 5.15.0.RC08 for those keeping score at home and should be hitting everyone’s devices via an OTA update this week.
The new version brings offline translation support to seven new languages from English. These translations also include the instant camera translations. If you aren’t familiar with the instant camera feature of the app, this is where you can point your phone’s camera at a sign in a foreign language and it will be translated into your native tongue. The new offline translation languages supported are:
In order for the offline translations to work, you will need to make sure you download these languages as well as others to your phone. Most of the translation packs are less than 50MB in size.
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Google Translate has an update rolling out for Android that brings instant translation to and from Japanese to English. Now you can point your phone’s camera to a book, sign or other text in English and it will instantly translate it to Japanese on your phone or vise versa. It brings the total number of instant translation languages to 30 in the app of the 103 languages available.
Instant translations come into play best when you are in a country with a supported language and need help with signs as you navigate around a city. Depending on the country, like Japan where the dialect is vastly different than English, that can be challenging which is where Google Translate really shines.
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Google has made a big change behind the scenes with Google Translate that is going to dramatically increase the accuracy of translations within the app. In September, Google announced they had developed their Neural Machine Translation and discussed it in a bit more detail at the October event. Now they have begun rolling it out to Translate with support 8 of the 130 languages that can be translated with the app and service. This is a first step but the implications are huge simply because of now Neural Machine Translation works.
Today, Google Translate chops up whatever you are trying to translate and converts that into the foreign language. It is good – really good – but it could be better as it doesn’t necessarily know local idioms and other speech traits. Neural Machine Translation essentially looks at the entire sentence, looking at context and then coming up with a translation that more closely matches human speech instead of a machine. It means that when you use the app it will give you far more natural results. Equally as important, the app will learn as it goes to provide more accurate and better translations as time goes on and more people use it.
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Google Translate is a great little app that allows you to translate text on your Android phone from one language to another. The one hitch however is that you would have to copy that text from your original app, where the foreign text is found, and paste that into the Translator app. It worked, but it was a bit clunky. Google agreed and in the latest update to the app, you can now do the translation right within the original app via a Translate floating button. The update is rolling out into the Google Play Store now and for those of you who heavily depend on the app, this will be a big time saver.
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In a post made this morning on the Google Translate Blog, the service announced that 13 new languages have been added to the service. That brings the total number of languages to 103 and makes the app and service the closest thing to a Star Trek-esque Universal Translator out there today.
In 2006, we started with machine learning-based translations between English and Arabic, Chinese and Russian. Almost 10 years later, with today’s update, we now offer 103 languages that cover 99% of the online population.
It is exciting to see the growth of this service that allows people across borders and language barriers to easily and quickly communicate.
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As I like to often say, living the future is pretty cool and thanks to Google, it’s about to get even more cool. On the Android Developer Blog, Google has posted that starting next week, for those of you who have Google Translate and are running Android Marshmallow, they will begin offering in-app translation for apps that have been configured to support the feature. The feature is one that could be very handy for those who want to read reviews or other user generated content without having to go out of the app and into Google Translate. It works seamlessly on the backed.
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On the official Android blog, Google has announced that they have begun rolling out a new update to Android Wear. This new 1.3 version for those keeping score is going to be huge with a lot of new interactions and with Google Translate embedded into the release. What Google has done with it is great and should make it much easier to get help in up to 44 different languages right on your wrist.
How it will work is simple. You tap on the Google Translate app on you Wear device and speak into it. When you are done, flick your wrist over and the person you are interacting with can read your question or statement in their own language. You can do it all on your wrist and there is no need to get your phone from your pocket unless you want spoken translations.
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