Google Translate has added more languages to its mobile app’s instant camera translation, allowing it to read menus and signboards in 88 languages including Bahasa Malaysia, Hindi and Mandarin.
Google Translate product manager Xinxing Gu said the update adds support for an extra 60 languages, with a full list here.
“One of my favourite features on the Google Translate mobile app is instant camera translation, which allows you to see the world in your language by just pointing your camera lens at the foreign text,” he said, on Google’s Keyword Blog.
He added that the real-time translation feature is similar to those launched in Google Lens and should work even when users are not connected to WiFi or using cellular data.
Previously Google Translate could only translate other languages into English. Now users can translate any language into any of the more than 100 languages in Google’s database, like Bahasa Malaysia into Mandarin, or Mandarin into Arabic.
Gu said another feature added to help travellers who might not recognise what language they are even looking at is the Detect language feature which figures out the source language, then translates to a language of your choice.
“For the first time, Neural Machine Translation (NMT) technology is built into instant camera translations. This produces more accurate and natural translations, reducing errors by 55%-85% in certain language pairs,” he said.
He added that most languages can be downloaded onto users’ device, so the feature can be used without an Internet connection. However, if the device is connected, the feature uses that connection to produce higher quality translations.
The app now also has a new look that is meant to be more intuitive. Google has reduced the flicker effect on translated images and made the three camera translation features – Instant, Scan and Import – easier to find at the bottom of the app.