How to talk to the world through free translation apps

Need to have a conversation in a language you don’t know, make sense of a printed sign, or quickly translate a message? With Google an...


Need to have a conversation in a language you don’t know, make sense of a printed sign, or quickly translate a message? With Google and Apple run their machine learning engines in their Google Translate and Translate from Apple apps, there’s a whole new world of communication possibilities right in your pocket.

Keep in mind that computer interpretation is not perfect. You can get awkward translations (and looks). Third-party applications can be more in-depth. But these gifts can give a general idea and become a learning aid. Here’s a quick tour.

Google Translate is in its 15th year and available on the Web, as Chrome browser extension and as Android And one ios application. Apple released its Translate app last year for the iPhone and added it to last month’s IOS 15 Update for iPad.

Credit…On the far left, Google; near the left, Apple

Google Translate supports more than 100 languages, while Apple’s version manages 11. Depending on the app and language, you may need an internet connection, unless the content is available for download for offline use. Audio pronunciation or other features may not be available for some languages. And read the app’s privacy policy if you have data sharing issues.

Credit…On the far left, Google; near the left, Apple

Google Translate and Translate from Apple are fairly easy to use. Just tap to open the app and choose the languages ​​you want to translate between. Enter text or say it out loud to get translation through the screen and speaker.

Both apps support a Conversation Mode, where you can perform a bilingual cat (in a supported language) with someone because the app translates automatically. And you can save your favorite phrases for later reference in both apps.

Google Translate and the Google Goal The visual search tool can use your phone’s camera to scan and translate the text on signs, in books, in photographs and in other printed matter. Just open the Camera app, point it at the text you want to convert, and hit the Translate button.

Apples Live Text functionality, new with iOS 15, offers similar capabilities. Point the camera at the text and when a yellow frame appears around the words, tap the text icon in the lower right corner of the screen. Select the words to convert and press Translate from the pop-up menu on the screen. You can translate text into photos in the same way.

Credit…Apple

You’ll find that the built-in translation powers extend to other compatible apps as well. For example, in Google Translate on an Android phone, tap the Menu icon in the upper left corner, choose Settings and turn on Tap to translate. When you find some text that you want to convert, highlight the words and press the Translate option from the pop-up menu, then select the language you want.

Credit…On the far left, NASA; near the left, Google

Apple’s Translate converts text in compatible applications on iOS devices (like Safari browser) and can replace text you typed with a translated version. Select the text you want to convert and in the menu above, tap Translate; you may need to press the arrow at the end of the menu to access this option. When the full Translate menu appears, you can see and hear the translation, and then choose one of the many options, including Replace with Translation.

Credit…Apple

Remember that your virtual assistant can also help you. The Google Assistant for Android and iOS has a interpreter mode to translate conversations into dozens of languages ​​on demand. Just say something like “Hey, Google, be my Mandarin interpreter” and follow it. Apple’s Siri works with the Translate app to provide quick language tips also – just say something like “Hey, Siri, how do I say, ‘Where’s the nearest station?’ ” in French?”

Credit…On the far left, Google; near the left, Apple

While the apps provide hands-free interpretations, there may be times when you want to type in a language you already know (or not). Android and iOS both include alternate keyboard layouts for dozens of languages.

TO add a keyboard in another language in that of Google Gboard for Android Where ios, open an app that accepts text input (such as your messaging app), tap the Settings icon, then tap Languages ​​and Add keyboard to select a language. Tap the three-dot Plus icon in the Gboard menu to access a Google Translate option to your typed text.

Credit…On the far left, Google; near the left, Apple

On a iPhone Where iPad running iOS 15, open the Settings icon and choose General, then Keyboard. Select Add New Keyboard and choose a language from the menu. Once you’ve added the new keyboard (s), you can switch between them by tapping on the globe icon in the lower left corner of the screen.

And what if a native speaker tells you that the app’s translation is manner disabled? Visit the Help and Feedback menu in Google Translate settings or report it to Apple translation comment page.

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