Travel Trick: New Google Tool for Traveling
You might have already seen this news, but I think it’s so incredibly awesome that I had to share: Google has recently updated its Translate app and it is everything I’ve ever needed.
The updates to this app include automatic language detection. This feature means you can text in real time with two languages and your friend’s texts immediately get translated into the language you’ve chosen. This is perfect for me because I still regularly Skype/FaceTime and email with my host family in Italy who I lived with for a semester while in college. But, because my Italian is rusty (at best), I always end up typing in English and then using a translation website before sending… this app now cuts out a step and saves lots of time, allowing the conversation to flow in real time instead of awkward lags.
But, even better, this new app also saves you when traveling. The “Word Lens” feature uses your smart phone’s camera for immediate translation of street signs, restaurant menus, newspapers, etc. So, if you’re walking down the street and desperately need to know what any type of sign reads, voila! AND, you don’t even need an internet connection for this to work… AWESOME!
We’ve been using it a good bit while traveling (not so much for Vietnamese as it’s not supported, yet), and it’s been very helpful with text messages from Jeffrey’s new phone carrier, reading street signs + menus and more!
To use this app, head to your App Store and search for Google Translate. Once downloaded, you can choose to either use your phone’s camera to scan or type into the text box for translation. It’s as easy as can be!
For those of you that know me, you might remember that I suffered through 3 years of high school French classes AND some in college… all to no avail. My brain just shuts down when I try to learn a new language. So, it’s a real LOL that my husband speaks fluent French and can quickly pick up on any language if you give him a few days in the country.
But now, I can rely on Google Translate to get me through my awkward moments and tough times.
Suck it, high school French class. Turns out I didn’t need you, after all.
Image Source: By: Travis Wiens – CC BY-NC-ND 2.0