Google Translate is an extremely useful function that allows you to easily and immediately translate text (and not only) written in any type of language. Despite this, its immense potential is very rarely deepened. In reality, this tool can be very useful especially for those traveling: beyond the English-speaking countries (always assuming you know English), having a translator so quick and well done can be very useful.
In this short article we will deepen the knowledge of the Google translator, putting in the spotlight some peculiarities that hardly find among the users the prominence they deserve.
Google Translate as you’ve never seen it before
Google Translator is an active service since far 2006 and uses its own translation software compared to other competitors such as Babel Fish and the like. The extreme simplicity of use and integration with Google services, have made this translator the absolute king of its industry (it is used by about 200 million users every month).
Beyond simply translating entire web pages or text portions though, there are also other less used features.
Translate text via the camera
One of the most surprising and recent features this translator can rely on is the ability to translate text directly with the camera. It is sufficient, in fact, to resume, for example, a road sign in a language unknown to you, that Google Translator will be able to translate it into English. How does camera translation work at a practical level?
- Open Google Translate
- select the languages involved in the translation phase from the blue band at the top
- touch the camera icon
- With the camera in action, resume the text you want to translate
After a few seconds, the text translated into English should appear on the screen. Naturally, this function can be used both online and offline (provided you have previously downloaded both languages involved in the translation).
Translate text from photos already taken
And if you would like to translate the text on a photo already taken? This powerful translator, even in this case, is able to surprise you!
Just open the app, select camera and opt for the Gallery icon (bottom left). At this point select the photo in question, highlight the text to be translated and then the translator will do its job.
Google Translate can also work offline
Reconnecting to the speech just made, it should be noted that Google Translate can also work offline. To do this it is necessary to download the dictionaries involved in the translations in full. To download a language you must:
- Connect to a Wi-Fi line (or alternatively have data usage on your device)
open the app in question
- on the upper part of the display there will be two slots that can be used by the languages involved, select one of the two spaces
- from the available list, choose the language to download and tap the arrow icon pointing down (which refers to the download)
Keep in mind that every language takes less than 50 MB of memory on your device, so do not get too much trouble downloading a language before going on vacation. Please note: as you may have seen, not all languages are still available for local download. Most likely, these are destined to increase over the next few years.
How to update or delete an offline dictionary?
The languages and their dictionaries are periodically extended by the Mountain View giant. Also, after a trip you may want to delete a dictionary from your smartphone, as it is now superfluous. To do this kind of operation it is necessary:
- Log in to Google Translate
- select the three-row icon at the top left
- touch Offline translation
- select Update or the trash can icon (depending on whether you want to update or delete the dictionary).
Create and manage a phrase book
When you prepare to go on vacation to some exotic or lost destination, English may not be enough to communicate with the locals. Among the many features that Google Translate offers you, also figure the possibility of preparing a phrasebook to untangle in any situation.
Google Translate allows you to save any translation into a phrasebook related to your personal account. So how can you put aside a specific phrase that can be useful in the future? Simply select the star that appears on the blue field below the translation. Once this is done, you can retrieve the phrases using the button at the top right (star-shaped) that appears when you open the app.
As you probably have already noticed, at the bottom of the screen there will be a chronology of the previously performed translations: a useful way to take a look at previously translated phrases.
Instantly translate chat on WhatsApp or other messaging apps
Yes, if you have a friend or a foreign friend, you can easily communicate through WhatsApp or other messaging apps.
After opening Google Translate for the first time or after an update, you will be asked whether or not to activate the Touch to translate feature. Once this is activated, just touch and hold on any word, phrase or piece of text that appears on the display and select the icon with the double square that appears at the top of the screen, to show the Google Translate icon. By selecting it, you will be able to see the translated phrase in the preferred language (but it is also possible to customize the language for the translation).
Google Translate helps you with synonyms and antonyms
It is a small trick: try to set the translation from English to English. The app will turn into a sort of dictionary of synonyms and antonyms, resulting in an excellent tool not only in the field of translations, but also to talk and write a better English!