5 Ways Google Translate Can Help Abroad
Traveling to countries where the language is not spoken can be overwhelming, but technology has made the process much easier in recent years.
Google Translate leads the way, with Android and iOS apps helping travelers navigate everything from menus to text messages, conversations, and pronunciation in more than 100 languages.
We hope you enjoy watching this video about Using Google Translate When Traveling
Source: Trip Astute
5 Ways Google Translate Can Help When You Don't Speak the Language
Read Menus and Signs Easily
One of the best features of Google Translate is its ability to decipher menus and signals using your phone or tablet's camera.
Just select the camera icon on the main screen of the app and point your device at the words you don't understand.
The application checks what you want, detecting what it thinks are words and phrases.
You can translate everything or select only the part that interests you with just a swipe of your finger.
The feature works best with crisp typescript, but as long as the words are clear enough, it's surprisingly accurate. He used it regularly in Taiwan to translate long restaurant menus written in Chinese, for example, and could figure out what he was eating each time.
This part of the app now supports almost 40 different languages, with more being added all the time.
The company has started using neural technology for some of these languages, which provides more accurate translations by looking up the context in whole sentences rather than individual words.
Get a Pronunciation Guide
Knowing the right words is only half the battle in a foreign country. If you make a mistake in pronunciation, you will often have as much trouble as if you did not speak the language.
The app helps with this by providing the translated word and phrases out loud - enter the English words, translate them, and then tap the little speaker icon to hear them through the phone's speaker.
You will be most successful with very common languages that use real voice actors. The others use a robotic translation that will be more difficult to understand.
Have a Basic Conversation
If you need to have a simple conversation with someone, the app can help you too. However, you will need to find someone who is very patient, as it is not a very natural experience.
After selecting the language pair you want to use and touching the microphone icon, you will see a screen with buttons for each language.
Tap the one you know and speak when the microphone icon lights up. Your words are translated into text on-screen and spoken aloud.
If you tap the button for another language, the person you are speaking to can reply and this will be translated as well.
You probably don't want to use this feature for long or complicated conversations, but it works well enough for basic communication.
Translate that SMS that you don't understand
If you are abroad and you use a local SIM card in your phone, it is not uncommon to receive SMS messages from your mobile operator in a language that you do not understand.
It's often just advertising, but sometimes it's something more important: Maybe you have a voicemail or are near your call or data limit and need to top up your credit.
The problem is, you often don't know which is which.
Google Translate has a built-in SMS translation option that reads your recent text messages and allows you to select the one you want to translate. It only takes a second and can help ensure your phone continues to work when you need it.
Can't write the words? Instead, draw them
While some languages are easy to type on a standard English keyboard, others are quite difficult. Accents, diacritics, and non-Latin languages require different keyboards and usually some practice to type correctly.
If you only need to translate a few words and using the camera doesn't work (a handwritten note, for example), you can write them directly on the screen of your phone or tablet.
Just copy the shapes with your finger, and as long as it is reasonably accurate, you will receive a translation as if you had typed the words.
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