Google Translate translates what comes in front of the camera in real time

Whether you want to quickly translate the ingredients of a product in the supermarket or try to understand a sign in a foreign country – with the Google Translate or Google Translate app, everything you film with it is automatically translated.

Especially practical when on vacation abroad: you hold the smartphone’s camera up to text in a foreign language and this is immediately transformed into a legible translation on the display of the mobile phone. One app that makes this possible is Google Translate. The translator app from Google is much more than a boring dictionary and is constantly being expanded with new functions.

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Advantages of translation via camera

Google Translate can now translate individual words, texts or graphics that are recorded with the camera into 103 languages ​​- in real time. The service automatically recognizes the source language. The function for this is called “instant translation” and can be found in the app, which Google offers free of charge not only for its own Android operating system, but also for Apple’s iOS.

The advantages of such a video simultaneous translation are obvious. You don’t have to laboriously enter unknown words by hand, which is hardly possible anyway with Chinese, Russian or Japanese characters on a German keyboard, and you still receive a translation immediately.

And if you want to translate from English into German, for example, it works amazingly well. The app even tries to find the right font, so the translated text looks almost like it is printed.

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Sometimes, however, Google Translate still has problems

Depending on the scanned surface, the Google Translate app can get problems every now and then. For example, if the surface is reflective or curved, correct scanning of text can be difficult. The example included below illustrates this quite well. It’s a shame, the instant translation in the supermarket would be particularly useful if you want to check the ingredients of a product:

So the technology is not yet fully developed. Especially since the camera function of Google Translate itself ideally only translates word for word and no connected sentences. The simultaneous translation also eats up a lot of battery, because the display of augmented reality is computationally intensive. But it is definitely worth trying: As mentioned, the app is available free of charge for iPhone and Android .

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