Skip to main content

Google Maps' automatic review translation makes finding a restaurant even easier

google maps
The days of wandering around a new locale looking struggling to find something to eat are long gone. Now, numerous options exist to not only locate a quality meal but to offer up actual choices beyond just grabbing a value meal from the closes fast food joint.

The same applies to points of interest in general, where it’s no longer true that road trips need to involve long hours of boredom punctuated by quick stops in major metropolitan areas. There are many apps and services aimed at providing travel information, and Google Maps has upped its own game lately to include more options and, just recently, the company added the ability to automatically translate reviews so that language becomes less of a barrier.

Essentially, the newest update is all about making it easier to access reviews in other languages. In the past, users would need to copy and paste reviews from Google Maps into a translation app like Google Translate. Now, Google Maps will automatically translate reviews into your system’s default language.

That way, if you’re looking at the local Russian eatery and see numerous reviews in the Russian language — perhaps a good sign — then you can simply peruse the reviews without any tedium. Just open the listing, and the reviews will be in your native language and ready to read. To clear up any translation quality issues, Google also provides the review in its original language for anyone who wants to clarify a word or two.

Image used with permission by copyright holder

Google has spent a good deal of time and effort working to make its Google Maps business listings more accurate and helpful. It’s offered the ability for some time now for users to update business information in addition to adding reviews and ratings. That means that the core business information provided Google Maps is likely to provide a better foundation for the social networking reviews that provides some of the filler.

The new feature also benefits from Google’s ongoing efforts to improve its translation efforts. Machine learning improvements mean that Google Translate offers more accurate and useful translations, and the company is rolling that extra intelligence out to more of the 103 overall languages supported by Google Translate. Today, Google’s neural machine translation is available for nine major languages in total, ranging from English, Spanish, and French to Chinese, Japanese, and Korean.

Now, when you’re out and about, you can check out local businesses no matter where you are and no longer fret about whether or not you speak all of the relevant languages. Just open up Google Maps and start reading reviews in your native language, and check for the “Translated by Google” tag to recognize when you’re getting Google’s version of a translated review.

Editors' Recommendations

Mark Coppock
Mark has been a geek since MS-DOS gave way to Windows and the PalmPilot was a thing. He’s translated his love for…
Google Maps is adding new shopping tools for the holiday season
Person using Google Maps on a smartphone.

Google has announced several new features in Google Maps to keep you sane this holiday season by helping you avoid crowds, find your way around the malls, and even get your holiday dinner shopping done.

First off, Google is expanding its crowdedness data features for public transit and specific stores into a broader tool that it's calling "Area Busyness." This will show you how many folks are gathering in a specific neighborhood, rather than an individual store. As Google explains, you can use this information however you like, whether you want to steer clear of the crowds or seek out the hottest spots in town.

Read more
Google is making it easier to save Tab Groups in Chrome
Google Chrome opened on a laptop.

Google is updating one of the most useful features of its popular Chrome web browser. It might soon be possible to save Tab Groups, so you can quickly get back to them after you exit your browsing session.

As noted by @Leopeva64 on Twitter, this new functionality is not yet available outside of a flag. However, once it is ready to roll out to everyone in a future Chrome release, a new "Save Group" toggle will appear as an option in the drop-down menu that is visible in the Tab Group box itself.

Read more
Google Maps expands super-useful feature for mass transit
A subway train in New York City.

Google Maps has announced a significant expansion of a handy feature that lets you see how crowded your train or bus is likely to be when it arrives.

After launching the feature in 200 cities in June 2019, the web giant is this week rolling it out to 10,000 transit agencies in 100 countries. If available, the data will appear when you look up transit directions.

Read more