Subscribe to Newsletter

Google Translate launches major update

App easier to use and better than ever

In good news for travellers who love to jump onto Google Translate, and that’s a lot of us now, Google has unveiled major new software updates to its instant camera translation feature within the Google Translate app. 



The new features include: 

  • Auto-detection of language enabling users to hold their smartphone camera up to the foreign text for an instant translation
  • More ‘source’ languages which expands its inventory to 88 languages, including some from the Asia-Pacific region like Maori and Vietnamese
  • Translation between non-English language pairs allowing translations into all 104 languages supported by the app, such as Arabic to French or Japanese to Korean


Google Translate product manager Xinxing Gu says one of his favourite features is the instant camera translation, which is “especially helpful when you’re traveling abroad as it works even when you’re not connected to Wi-Fi or using cellular data”.


For the first time, Neural Machine Translation (NMT) technology is also being utilised into instant camera translations. 


“This produces more accurate and natural translations, reducing errors by 55-85 percent in certain language pairs,” Gu wrote in a blog. 


“And most of the languages can be downloaded onto your device, so that you can use the feature without an internet connection.”


The Google app differs from other translation aids, some of which offer interpreting and translation services by real people.


Meanwhile, Google's updated app also has a new look, which makes it more intuitive to use. 


“In the past, you might have noticed the translated text would flicker when viewed on your phone, making it difficult to read. We’ve reduced that flickering, making the text more stable and easier to understand.”


Do you use Google Translate? How do you find it compared to other translation apps?



Click here to read the latest issue of traveltalk Click here to read the latest issue of traveltalk
Written by: Mark Harada
Published: 11 July 2019

comments powered by Disqus