While traveling, you’ve probably come across people from different backgrounds, cultures, and foreign languages. Learning a new language isn’t easy every time you travel, but there are many ways to get help when you need it most. You can enable Translator mode to translate different languages on the go thanks to Google Assistant.
It’s hard enough having to find someone every time you need something translated, or flipping through a few pages in a dictionary to find the meaning of a word or phrase you read in a manual or menu. Fortunately, you can use your smartphone or tablet and activate Translator mode and ask Google Assistant to assist you with translations.
We’ll explain what it is, what you can do with it, and how to activate it on your device.
What is Translator Mode in Google Assistant?
Translator Mode is a feature in Google Assistant where it translates conversations in real time. It works in 44 languages and is invoked by saying commands like “Ok Google, help me speak Arabic”.
When enabled, Assistant can translate your speech and read it aloud, and you can see Smart Replies on your screen that allow you to respond without speaking and speed up speech.
Smart devices such as the Google Home speaker or smart display already had Translator mode by February 2019 when the feature became available, providing real-time translations in different languages.
The main difficulty with using them on smart devices is that they lack the mobility factor, so it is not possible to take them everywhere you go to translate speech in foreign languages.
Smartphone users can also enjoy Google Assistant’s ability to translate conversations in real time. This way, they never have to use hand gestures again. Simply enable the feature; You can chat back and forth with the other person speaking a foreign language.
It also means travelers can turn to Assistant whenever they need help researching local restaurant recommendations or checking out their flight. It’s also a great tool to have among other things in your travel toolkit.
What You Can Do in Translator Mode
In translator mode, you can translate in 44 different foreign languages using Google Assistant, whether you’re using an Android smartphone or using your iPhone if you have the Google Assistant app.
There are different ways of communication depending on your situation. For example, you can choose the language to speak or type using the keyboard if you are in a quiet environment.
You don’t need to instruct Google as it can automatically understand the language you speak, but it must be a supported language. Since an update appeared in August 2019, the app has bilingual functionality, which is the same technology used with the Translator mode feature.
To start using the translator mode, say “OK, Google, help me speak German” and start speaking. You will see the words appear on your device screen as you speak and when you stop speaking Google will translate and play it out loud for your receiver.
You can then tap the microphone button to reject while the other person is speaking, and you can see smart replies appear on your screen after each translation to give you quick replies.
Translator mode is available on all Google Home speakers, smart displays, mobile phones and tablets, smart watches, and some speakers with Google Assistant built-in.
How to Enable Translator Mode in Google Assistant
Using Translator mode in Google Assistant is easy. Just ask it to turn on the feature and you’re set. It uses the microphone to listen to any conversation nearby and then transcribes the language in real time. You will see a written translation in the language of your choice on your screen.
At the bottom of the screen, Assistant also offers contextual text bubbles, also known as Smart Replies, about the translated text, so it’s easier for you to respond to the other person speaking.
To get started, say “Ok Google, help me speak Spanish” or “Ok Google, be my Arabic translator” depending on the language you want. The translated speech will appear and you can hear it on your phone too.
Make sure you select the languages you want to use, and when you hear a sound, speak in one of the languages you want. There is no need to switch between languages, but remember to leave a pause between responses.
When you’re done, say a command such as exit, stop, or exit to stop using the Interpreter mode. On smart screens, swipe right to exit interpreter mode.
No More Hand Gestures
Translator mode is a great feature to have so you can chat with people who speak different languages and via your smartphone or tablet. Whether you’re preparing for a New Year’s trip or just want to talk to your family or friends who speak a different language than yours, language barriers should no longer be an issue in Translator mode.
Next: If you prefer to use a translation app instead of Google Assistant to translate foreign languages for you, in our next article we will talk about the three best live translation apps you can use to make your travels abroad enjoyable.