New Google Translate App Helps Users Defy the Limitations of Language
By: Antony Hampel
There was a time, not so long ago really, when the notion of a universal translation tool seemed ambitious, at best, and downright unfeasible, at worst. However, this year, Google released a tweaked and updated version of its popular Google Translate app – and it can now function as a live third party translator.
So, in essence, all of those futuristic movies you’ve seen where people happily chat away to one another, even if they are talking different languages; well, they are in the process of becoming a concrete reality. Whilst this kind of advanced technology is always going to need a lot of work before it functions flawlessly, Google Translate is currently leading the market when it comes to real time translation software.
The Google Voice Translation tool works in a very simple way. If you meet somebody who you would like to converse with, but you do not have a common language, you can open up the Google Translate app, place it within earshot of the conversation and it will interpret both sides. So, if you are speaking to a Chinese person, but you do not know any Chinese, the app will automatically translate their words into English (or your preferred language) and your words into Chinese.
This all happens in a matter seconds of seconds and all that you have to do is speak loudly and clearly enough for the microphone in the handset to hear you – voila, you are overcoming the limitations of language. It is true that earlier versions of the Google Translate app could use voice detection software to make real time translations, but the system functioned slowly and could only handle one sentence at a time.
This overhauled version is handy because all of the fuss and complexity has been eradicated. As a digital translator, the app is smooth, easy to use, and surprisingly responsive. You do not have to press the microphone button before every exchange anymore, because the software only needs to hear a small amount of conversation from either party to ‘know’ how to proceed.
Plus, Google has also introduced a new Word Lens tool. This allows users to take a picture of foreign text and have the app translate it in a matter of seconds. For keen travellers, expats, and migrants, it has the potential to be an invaluable resource – long gone are the days when exploring exotic cities meant having to get hopelessly lost first. With the Google Translate app, it is simply a matter of taking out your phone, snapping a picture of the nearest street sign and going on your merry way.
By: Ant Hampel