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Google Translate’s camera can now read 13 additional languages

Google has announced that it can now visually translate 13 new languages including Arabic, Hindi, Thai and Vietnamese using the camera feature in the Google Translate app.

The additions take the total number of languages that Google can visually translate to almost 50. Punjabi, Bengali, Gujarati, Kannada, Nepali, Tamil, Telugu, and Malayalam were also added this week. According to Babbel, the language learning platform,  Arabic, Bengali, Hindi, and Punjabi are four of the top 10 most spoken languages in the world.

google translate camera
The Google Translate camera feature works in real time as well as after a photo is taken. / © AndroidPIT

Google Translate uses a machine learning system knows as Neural Machine Translation (NMT) which can translate text in real time. By pointing your camera the text it will appear in your chosen translated language on your display. You can also take a photo of the text and choose which sections to translate by dragging your finger across the screen.

The technology is not perfect, but it can be a life-saver when trying to read a menu or important information in a foreign country.

The new languages will be rolling out to both Android and iOS versions of the app immediately.

How often do you use the Google Translate camera feature? Let us know in the comments.

Via: The Verge Source: Venture Beat

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  • Google Translate

    I've used its features more often now that this App has been improved, so that I can communicate Real Time with those who visit Las Vegas (we have a kiosk where two tablets can be set up in a soundproof environment, which allows one to select their main language and translate whatever is being spoken). WiFi offers faster translation then 4G LTE, but perhaps 5G could change this?


  • the voice translate feature is pretty cool. It is almost at the level of a star trek universal translator. You can have nearly real time spoken conversations across languages.
    Using the camera on written material is also helpful but not as often. The biggest help will be when they perfect the online translator for websites, it's also good but not perfect. Still Google is moving fast in this realm.
    And adding handwriting recognition. So far only Microsoft offers this and only for iPhone.


  • I use Translate for French on several trips a year to Quebec, usually the offline dictionary. I was very glad when the file sizes were radically reduced a few years ago - competitors still have huge downloads for offline use. (I had a headscratching experience of failed language downloads on a new Android N tablet - turned out the system ad blocker I use prevents Translate downloads. Thankfully it can be whitelisted.)

    Update: reading some press today, an article about Google's "real time translation" via Google Assistant and newly compatible headsets would be interesting.

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