Google's Translate's Instant Camera Translation Gets New Languages, Improved Features

All told, there are 60 new languages in its list of supported languages for instant camera, including Arabic, Hindi, Malay, Thai and Vietnamese.

While the app supports Sesotho, Xhosa and Zulu translations, the camera feature was not working with these languages at the time of writing. This tweak sees the major features each having their own button at the bottom of the app (Instant, Scan, and Import).

The system works by using what Google calls Neural Machine Translation technology. This works how it sounds: you just point the camera at a foreign language sign, notice, or menu, for example, and you can usually understand clearly what it is trying to convey. Google points out that this is handy for travelling in areas where multiple languages are commonplace, and I'm sure you can think of more useful use cases for this feature.

Using the camera translation feature is also simpler now, thanks to a revamped interface and the ability to detect languages automatically.

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If you've got a trip planed and you've never used Google Translate, we highly recommend installing it and downloading the local languages of where your visiting - it might help in a pinch.

An even more exciting development is the expansion of the target languages field to include "into any of the 100+ languages supported on Google Translate", according to the blog post. Grab the app below if you don't have it installed.

Google Translate's new instant camera will begin rolling out to about one percent of users today, with full availability coming in the next few weeks.

Google Translate's instant camera translation also offers automatic language detection now. And most of the languages can be downloaded onto your device, so that you can use the feature without an internet connection.

  • Delia Davidson