When I was preparing for a trip to Russia a few years ago, I made a serious effort to learn the Russian alphabet and some basic vocabulary. But from the moment we arrived at Pulkovo Airport in St. Petersburg it became obvious that I was woefully unprepared. So, I turned to the trusty Google Translate app and life became much more manageable.
Now Google is adding more AI-powered features to Translate. The app will be getting serious enhancements, with a new interface design for Android users, and the iOS version coming out in several weeks. The main changes include a larger canvas for words, voice input capabilities, and Lens camera translation for images.
The AI integration will allow Translate to give users more context when providing definitions. Rather than one description per word, there will now be more contextual options with multiple examples for terms that are vague.
According to Google, this new function will first be rolled out in English, French, German, Japanese, and Spanish, but it will take a short while before it’s made available to everyone.
Google explained in a blog post that it would be enabling users to translate not only text, but images as well. The advanced algorithm allows users to search what they see using their devices’ cameras, and can even blend translated text into more complex pictures.
The Translate app will also be adding 33 new languages, ranging from Basque to Corsican, Hawaiian, Hmong, Latin, Sundanese, Yiddish, Zulu, and more—so users can stay more connected via minority-speaking languages around the world.
I could have done with lens-camera translations when we were in South Korea. By the time I had decoded the hangul description of the final destination of a bus, it had long disappeared on its way there.
That’s funny, Margaret! Or maybe not…
No Jo … it was funny. And locals were keen to help in any case.