Google on Saturday announced that their popular Google Translate for Android application now offers support for 14 languages via their “Conversation Mode”, allowing callers to receive on the fly translations as they talk to people in various parts of the world.
Introduced last year the application provides text translation for 63 languages and offers voice input for 17 of those langauges and text-to-speech for 24 of them.
Available for Android 2.2 and higher handsets the program is now available in:
Brazilian Portuguese, Czech, Dutch, French, German, Italian, Japanese, Korean, Mandarin Chinese, Polish, Russian and Turkish.
Google warns that the technology is still very much in beta and therefore regional accents and background disturbances may still cause somewhat of an issue. The company says that their “Conversation Mode” however learns from example and therefore the more people continue to use the program the better it will become.
According to eWeek:
Users who want to try the feature can speak into their Android handset’s microphone, and the Translate app will translate what they say and read the translation back to them aloud.
The person to whom the user directed his or her speech can then reply in their language from their phone. Conversation Mode will translate what they said and read it back to the original speaker.
Also included with the new multilingual support is the ability to correct translations that display incorrectly, according to Google Product Manager Jeff Chin:
“For example, if you wanted to say, ‘Where is the train?’ but Google Translate recognizes your speech as ‘Where is the rain?’ you can now correct the text before you translate it,” and “You can also add unrecognized words to your personal dictionary.”
Google Translate still has a long way to go before on-the-fly translations are flawless however anyone who has used their online translate text-to-text program knows just how well the company manages to translate complete sentences.
With Apple Siri taking over the spotlight at the moment I wouldn’t be surprised if Android users find their own type of voice activated platform in the near future, likely based at least in part off the technology being created with Google Translate for Android.
Have you tried Google Translate on your Google Android enabled Smartphone yet? Let us know what you think.