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Google Translate

Yan Matusevich
4

Google Translate has now become a household name. Even though it has been responsible for some really bad and awkward translations, Google Translate can still be pretty useful. I've already taken at the iPhone application for Google Translate. Find out if the Android version is just as good and practical in today's test.

3 ★★★☆☆

Rating

Tested version Latest version
1.1.1 3.0.5

Features & Use

Google Translate offers basically all of the same features as the online tool on your computer.

You can translate words and texts between the following languages:

Afrikaans
Albanian
Arabic
Armenian
Azerbaijani
Basque
Belarusian
Bulgarian
Catalan
Chinese
Croatian
Czech
Danish
Dutch
English
Estonian
Filipino
Finnish
French
Galician
Georgian
German
Greek
Haitian Creole
Hebrew
Hindi
Hungarian
Icelandic
Indonesian
Irish
Italian
Japanese
Korean
Latvian
Lithuanian
Macedonian
Malay
Maltese
Norwegian
Persian
Polish
Portuguese
Romanian
Russian
Serbian
Slovak
Slovenian
Spanish
Swahili
Swedish
Thai
Turkish
Ukrainian
Urdu
Vietnamese
Welsh
Yiddish

In comparison to the browser version, there are a couple of languages missing. On the bright side, the Android app let’s you do text-to-speech translations, where your translations are read directly out loud to you. I tried out translating different sentences from foreign languages to English and came up with pretty good results. The German sentence “Das Zimmermädchen war noch nicht da” was translated correctly as “the hotel room girl was no there”. The app obviously had a difficult time translating expressions. The English idiomatic expression “I’m sick of working” was translated into as “Ich bin krank arbeiten”, which literally means “I’m working while being sick”.

Another cool feature let’s you look back at all of your previous searches and mark some as favorites. You can do both of these things offline, as well.

As far as the translations are concerned, they are of the same quality as the browser version. Some of the translations are brilliant, whereas others are way off. Here is an example:

A German text message containing the following information:
Lieber Tchibo mobil Kunde, herzlich Willkommen in Österreich. Sie können hier wie gewohnt Ihre Mailbox einfach und bequem unter 333 erreichen.

was translated into extremely awkward English:
Tchibo mobil dear customer, welcome in Austrian. They can normally reach their mailbox easily and conveniently at 333rd

 

The option of translating text messages is another awesome feature included with the Android-version of this translation tool. You can select a text message from your inbox using Google Translate.

Bottom Line:

Google Translate can be a really useful tool to have. I just wouldn’t trust the app to translate longer sentences correctly. The text-to-speech feature worked really well during the test, but you have to be careful of bad translations

Screen & Controls

Using Google Translate is really simple. Simply enter a search term or text at the top of the screen in order to get a translation. Underneath the search box is button, which let’s you adjust the language selection. Once you’ve searched for something, the same language combination is used by default for future translations. You can also reverse the language order by pressing a button to the left of language selection.

In the middle of your screen you’ll see a “Starred” and “History” section. All of your previous searches are listed in the history and all of your favorites in the starred section. Click on a small star next to a translation in order to add it to Starred.

When looking at your starred translation or your history, you have the following options via the menu button:

Sort
Filter
Star all
Unstar all
Remove all

By pressing the speaker icon you can have a translation read out loud. Pressing the menu button give the following options:

Home
Send (Text Message, Email, Twitter, etc.)
Translate SMS
Settings

In your settings you can:

Install Text-to-Speech option
Activate Rich Dictionary
Activate Google Suggest

Bottom Line:
The app deserves four stars in terms of controls and design. Everything works great!

Speed & Stability

Perfect performance. No problems!

Price/Performance Ratio

Google Translate can be downloaded for free

Screenshots

Google Translate Google Translate Google Translate Google Translate

Comparable Apps

Developer

Google Inc.

Comments

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  • User picture
    Jay O. Jul 30, 2010 Link

    I love the idea of an Android Google Translate application... but this particular app needs a bit of tweeking, I believe. The whole point of having a translation tool on your phone is so that you can get a clear idea of what is being said in another language. Who needs weird, semi-cryptic translations when you're in a crunch and need to know what something means quickly?
    An app that gives you confusing, half-baked translations as soon as a sentence is longer than 3 words is a bit of a disappointment -- but here's hoping that improvements will be made!

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  • Peter Long Aug 1, 2010 Link

    unfortunately, virtually all online translators have the same problem regarding expressions and idioms. that's the difficult thing about language, in general.

    with Google translate, some languages are better than others. English-German and English-French are alright, some of the other languages are just god awful on the other hand.

    some smaller sites like dict.cc (German only) are actually not too bad, because they are user generated. That way you can "vote" on correct translations to have the displayed first. Maybe Google should start doing something similar.

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  • User picture
    Jay O. Aug 1, 2010 Link

    Interesting suggestion, Peter. I hope Google is listening. :)

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  • Peter Long Aug 6, 2010 Link

    oh and I forgot to mention that Google Translate doesn't list the gender of German nouns when you translate. That's a big bummer, because I can never tell whether it's der, die or das :))))

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Author
6

What was the first precious thing you broke ?

Google Translate

Google translate is google's platform to allow the world to communicate. Efficiently and seemingly with ease google translate allows its users to translate content in as accurate a way as is possible. Install google translate on your android today and open up a whole world of new possibilities.