Skip to main content

Google Translate is gaining instantaneous translation support for 20 more languages

google ai translate
Malarie Gokey/Digital Trends
As far as computer-powered translation apps go, Google Translate’s pretty holistic — Google’s digital Babel Fish will happily decipher any number of dialects for the unabashedly monolingual. But text translation is only the very tip of the service’s linguistic iceberg: pic-based translation, a feature borne out of Google’s 2014 acquisition of Word Lens, instantaneously translates foreign words on street signs, menus, and billboards into your native tongue. And now it’s getting better: Today, the Google Translate team announced that 20 new languages are joining Translate’s stable of instantly translatable languages.

This meaty addition brings the total number of snap-supported languages to 27, an impressive jump from the seven that lens-based translation debuted with in January. (Notable additions include Catalan, Croatian, Czech, Danish, Dutch, Filipino, Finnish, Hungarian, Indonesian, Lithuanian, Norwegian, Polish, Romanian, Slovak, Turkish, Ukrainian.) Lost in Bulgaria with nary a clue how to get to Burgas, or want to know just what’s in that Swedish nyponsoppa the hostess so highly recommended? Set the language to “English” along with the language you’d like to translate, click the camera button, and you’ll be well on your way.

Google Translate vs. “La Bamba”

And Translate’s improving in other ways. Thanks to a neural network not unlike the one powering Gmail’s new spam filter, pic translation now works offline. It’s fairly heady stuff: algorithms drive Translate to sift through images and identify what’s a letter and what isn’t. It’s even smart enough to account for fake reflections and smudges. In all, Google says the localized translation gives better results than the old, Internet-dependent system without sacrificing speed.

Beyond text, speech-to-speech translation is now much more responsive. The search giant says the update should make translation across the 32 supported languages work reliably even on flaky connections.

Google says the update will roll out to Android and iOS users “over the next few days.”

Editors' Recommendations

Kyle Wiggers
Former Digital Trends Contributor
Kyle Wiggers is a writer, Web designer, and podcaster with an acute interest in all things tech. When not reviewing gadgets…
Google Pixel Fold 2: news, rumored price, release date, and more
A person holding the Google Pixel Fold.

Though Samsung is the brand that is best known for foldables in the U.S., that’s changed in recent years, with Google and other brands joining the fray. The Google Pixel Fold was Google’s first foldable, and it had a relatively strong start.

We’re expecting a second generation of Google’s Pixel Fold in 2024, and from the looks of things, it’s shaping up to be a strong sequel. Here’s everything we know about the Google Pixel Fold 2 so far.
Google Pixel Fold 2: release date

Read more
Google Messages vs. Samsung Messages: Which app should you use?
Google messages versus samsung messages app icons side by side on Galaxy Z Fold 5.

Amid the rise of third-party messaging apps, texting remains a popular means of messaging in the U.S. If you own an Android phone, you've likely used or heard of Google Messages, which is positioned as the default text messaging app for Android. It is the culmination of Google's long history with multiple messaging platforms. Google has pursued smartphone companies to use its Dialer and Messages apps as their default since at least 2017 and now mandates them to use Google Messages as the default messaging app on all devices.

Meanwhile, if you have been a Samsung user in the past, you have likely also known and experienced the Samsung Messages app, which comes preinstalled on all Samsung phones and cannot be uninstalled. This is despite losing its spot as the default messaging app on Samsung Galaxy smartphones.

Read more
Google just announced Android 15. Here’s everything that’s new
The Android 15 logo on a smartphone.

Android fans, it's time to start your hype engines. Google just released the first developer preview for Android 15 — kicking off the release of the next big Android update.

This is just the first step in a months-long process of Android 15's rollout, which will see numerous developer previews and betas before the final release later this year. So, what's new, when is Android 15 officially releasing, and should you download it? Here's everything you need to know.
What's new in Android 15

Read more