Google Translate for Android Gets Real-Time Transcription

The new feature for Google Translate, anticipated for a long time, will be speech transcription in real time. The users will only need to say the phrase aloud in their native language; the app will do the rest. It will save a lot of time when the app is used in face-to-face communication.

The app will still require the Internet to function because it needs Google servers to do both the transcription and the translation. The latest update brought local transcription in as many as ten new languages, letting users enjoy all of them, regardless of their location or system language. Now it’s merged with the translating engine.

Visitors of the AI conference in San Francisco could preview the feature during a presentation by Google. It boasts abilities to recognize finished sentences, add punctuation, and use context to select the right word depending on the context. Again, all this work is done in the cloud, so the app just records the user’s voice and uploads it, and then receives the text. So far, the service only works with real-time voice input, but probably soon it will also process audio files.

The current version of the service supports English, and it is tested in German, French, and Spanish. Soon Android users will get a chance to learn this feature in detail. Google spokespersons say it’s a question of months.