By: Nick Gambino
Virtual assistants like Siri, Cortana and Google Assistant have amassed a pretty robust skillset since their inception only a few years ago. There’s not much you can’t ask and get an answer to or task you can assign that they can’t figure out a way to execute, within reason.
Now, Google Assistant is adding “major language translator” to its list of capabilities on iOS and Android. The new interpreter mode was just added to allow Google Assistant to quickly translate up to 44 languages in real-time. Until now, this convenient feature was only available when using smart speakers or displays.
You can take advantage of the new translator feature by simply saying, “Hey Google help me speak (whichever language you choose)” or “Hey Google, be my (whichever language) translator.” Once fired up, interpreter mode will have the ability to translate your words and read them aloud almost as quickly as you can say them.
This kind of tool is very handy when traveling to a foreign country where you don’t speak the language. Simply speak to Google Assistant when you want to say something or ask a question of someone, and then allow the Assistant to translate it for the intended recipient.
“Travelers already turn to the Assistant for help researching and checking into flights, finding local restaurant recommendations and more,” a Google blog post announcing the rollout says. “To give you even more help during your trip, the Assistant’s real-time translation feature, interpreter mode, is starting to roll out today on Assistant-enabled Android and iOS phones worldwide. Using your phone, you can have a back and forth conversation with someone speaking a foreign language.”
In addition to real-time translation when you speak to the Assistant, there are a number of Smart Replies available for you to quickly respond without having to speak further. These suggestions allow you to get your point across quicker and without further complicating the conversation.
If you’ve got an Android phone, you’re good to go. If you’ve got an iPhone, you’ll have to download the Google Assistant app to use interpreter mode.
With support for 44 languages, users will find this translator feature finally allows them to carry on a verbal conversation with someone who only speaks a foreign language.