Need to have a conversation in a language you don’t know, make sense of a printed sign, or quickly translate a message? With revving their machine-learning engines in their Google Translate and Apple’s Translate apps, there’s a whole new world of communication possibilities in your pocket. Keep in mind that computer interpretation is not perfect. You may get some awkward translations (and stares). Third-party apps may be more in-depth. But these freebies can provide a general sense of things and . Here’s a quick tour.
Pick Your Translator
Google Translate is in its 15th year and available on the web as a Chrome browser extension and Android and iOS app. Last year, and added it to last month’s iOS 15 update for the iPad. For simple Translate, far left, or Apple’s Translate, just pick slang the ages you want to use and then type or speak the words you want to translate. Credit…Far gone, Google; near left, Apple. Google Translate , while the version from Apple handles 11. Depending on the app and language, you may need an internet connection unless the content is downloaded offline.
See It and Read It
tool can use your phone’s camera to scan and translate the text on signs, in books, within photographs, and in other printed matter. Open the , point it at the text you want to convert and tap the Translate button. feature, new with iOS 15, offers similar abilities. Point the camera at the text and tap the text icon in the bottom-right corner of the text when a yellow frame appears around the words. Select the words to convert and tap Translate from the pop-up menu on the net. You can translate text into photos the same way.
Translating in Other Apps
You’ll find that the baked-in powers of translation extend to other compatible apps, too. For example, in Google Translate on an Android phone, tap the Menu icon in the top-left corner, choose Settings, and enable the Tap to Translate function. When you find the text you want to convert, highlight the words, tap the Translate option in the pop-up menu, and select the language you wish. When you select text in certain apps (like the NASA app shown here) and tap Translate from the pop-up menu, Google Translate converts the selection to your chosen supported language. on iOS devices (like the Safari browser) and can replace text you’ve typed with a translated version. Select the text you want to convert, and from the menu above, tap Translate; you may to tap the arrow at the end of the menu to get to that option. When the full Translate menu appears, you can see and hear the translation and choose one of several options, including Replace with Translation.
Use the Digital Assistant
Don’t forget that your virtual assistant can also be of service. The Google Assistant for Android and iOS has an interpreter mode to translate conversations in dozens of languages on demand. Just say somethingogle, be my Mandarin interpreter,” and follow along. Apple’s Siri works with the Translate app to say something like, “Hey, Siri, how do I say, ‘Where’s the nearest train station?’ in French?” The , far left, has an “interpreter mode” for translating real-time chats. When askedri assistant can also provide quick translations for specific languages. Credit.. when asked.Far left, Google; near left, Apple.
Typing in Translation
Android and iOS both include alternate keyboard layouts for dozens of languages. While thehands-free interpretations, there may be times when you want to type in a language you already know (or don’t). To add an alternate-language keyboard in or iOS, open an app that accepts text input (like your mail app), tap the Settings icon, then Languages and Add Keyboard to select a language. Tap the three-dot More icon on the Gboard menu to get a Google Translate option for your typed text.
Google Translate, far left, can translate the text as you type it. Android and iOS include dozens of keyboards in different languages for natives and novices, although not all iPhone or iPad running iOS 15, choose General, and then Keyboard. Select Add New Keyboard and select a language on the menu. Once you have added the new Keyboard (s), you can switch between them by pressing the globe icon in the bottom-left corner. And what to do if a native speaker tells you the app’s translation is way off? Visit the Help & Feedback menu in the Google Translate settings or report it to Apple’s Translate Feedback page.. Credit…Far left, Google; near left, Apple. Open the Settings icon on an