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Google Assistant Interprets and Translates in 26 Languages

February 11, 2019

Starting this month, some users of Google smart devices may be able to access Google Assistant's interpreter mode. This newly released feature allows you to ask your Google Assistant to translate your conversation with someone who doesn't speak your language. According to the search engine giant, you must use English, French, German, Japanese, Spanish or Italian to start Interpreter Mode.

To begin translating a conversation, users simply say "OK Google" followed by a specific command, such as "Turn on Interpreter" or "Interpret English to Spanish". Once you hear a tone, simply start speaking (in either language) and you can see the translated conversation on a Smart Display or hear it on a Google Home Speaker. If a number of other conversations are going on nearby, you may need to stay close to your device. In addition, limiting ambient noises and articulating your words will help Interpreter identify the spoken language.

Once you are up and running, you can ask your Google Assistant to translate between the following languages:

  • Czech
  • Danish
  • Dutch
  • English
  • Finnish
  • French
  • German
  • Greek
  • Hindi
  • Hungarian
  • Indonesian
  • Italian
  • Japanese
  • Korean
  • Mandarin
  • Polish
  • Portuguese
  • Romanian
  • Russian
  • Slovak
  • Spanish
  • Swedish
  • Thai
  • Turkish
  • Ukrainian
  • Vietnamese

Not without flaws, Google's new Interpreter Mode will turn your Google Assistant into a real-time language translator wherever two or more people need to communicate but do not share a common language. There is a brief pause between translating each person's remarks but system updates should make future conversations seamless. Google already offers almost-instantaneous translations using Google Translate on your desktop, laptop, tablet or mobile phone. Currently, Google is testing a Google Home Hub that will support 26 languages for translation services.

Although Google is simplifying how people of different tongues can communicate quickly and economically, the existing system will only work for certain situations. The waiting and listening for the device to respond makes it impractical for multi-lingual business meetings, conferences, etc.

Client Spotlight

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- S. Caprani, Episcopal Church of Central Florida

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