(Updated December 20, 2019) Google has a year-end update for small business road warriors and others who need help with more simple real-time translation. They have added an “interpreter mode” to the mobile version of Google Assistant. Previously, the real-time translation feature was complex for many users to set up and use. It was also limited to Android devices. The new translation mode is simple to use with more features and languages, according to Google’s Lilian Rincon.
What Google Assistant’s interpreter mode does
Using your iOS (Apple) or Google Assistant (Android) devices, you can have a back and forth conversation with someone speaking a foreign language. The mode now works across 44 languages.
How to set up interpreter mode
If you use an Android mobile device, the translation mode is baked into the operating system. Apple mobile device users (iOS) need to download the Google Assistant app if you have an Apple iPhone or iPad.
How to use interpreter mode with your Smart Phone
To get started, just say “Hey Google, be my French translator” or “Hey Google, help me speak Spanish” and you’ll see and hear the translated conversation on your phone. According to Google’s Rincon. “After each translation, Goole Assistant may present Smart Replies, giving you suggestions that let you respond without speaking—which can make your conversations faster and even more seamless.”
Other ways to use interpreter mode
Interpreter mode also features different ways to communicate suited to your situation: you can type using a keyboard for quiet environments, or manually select what language to speak.
It’s still a work in progress
Real-time translation for the masses has been a long-time goal for visionaries ranging from academics to science fiction authors — and is available in many ways and various contexts even today. (For example, if you need to translate text, Google Lens works on Android device’s cameras.) And privacy is obviously an issue wherever users are using cloud devices to use personal conversations and other data.
But for business owners and manager, there are many situations where translation — even the next-step kind — can open up markets and add clarity to work-related communication.
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