Skip to main content
Canada Blog


Google Translate’s update helps Canadians connect and communicate in different languages

Similar to the real-time translation featurewe recently launched in
Google Lens, this is an intuitive way to understand your surroundings, and it’s especially helpful when you’re
traveling abroad as it works even when you’re not connected to Wi-Fi or using cellular data. Today, we’re launching
new upgrades to this feature, so that it’s even more useful.

The instant camera translation adds support for 60 more languages, such as Arabic, Hindi, Malay, Thai and
Vietnamese. Here’s a full list of all 88 supported languages. What’s more exciting is that, previously you could only
translate between English and other languages, but now you can translate into any of the 100+ languages
supported on Google Translate. This means you can now translate from Arabic to French, or from Japanese to
Chinese, etc.

When traveling abroad, especially in a region with multiple languages, it can be challenging for people to determine
the language of the text that they need to translate. We took care of that—in the new version of the app, you can
just select “Detect language” as the source language, and the Translate app will automatically detect the language
and translate. Say you’re traveling through South America, where both Portuguese and Spanish are spoken, and
you encounter a sign. Translate app can now determine what language the sign is in, and then translate it for you
into your language of 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 percent in certain language pairs. And
most of the languages can be downloaded onto your device, so that you can use the feature without an internet
connection. However, when your device is connected to the internet, the feature uses that connection to produce
higher quality translations.

Last but not least, the feature has a new look and is 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. The new look has all three camera translation features
conveniently located on the bottom of the app: “Instant” translates foreign text when you point your camera at it.
"Scan" lets you take a photo and use your finger to highlight text you want translated. And “Import” lets you translate
text from photos on your camera roll.

To try out the the instant camera translation feature, download the Google Translate app.

Xinxing Gu, Product Manager, Google Translate