If you have a Pixel phone, and you’re considering a pair of Google’s new Pixel Buds, then you should know how to use one of the more interesting, quirky features — real-time language translation to over 40 foreign languages. Whether you’re a regular traveler, or conversing with someone in a different tongue at home, this feature is bound to impress, and as Google fine-tunes the process, it will become easier and more fluid as well.
Here’s how to use it:
- Set up your Pixel Buds and make sure they’re paired to your Google Pixel or Pixel 2
- Download Google Translate from the Google Play Store:
- Keep your phone unlocked, and pop the Pixel Buds in your ears
- Activate Google Assistant by touching and holding the right earbud with one of these commands:
- Help me speak <language>, e.g. help me speak French
- Be my <language> translator
- I want to speak <language>
- I need a <language> interpreter
- When you release the right bud, your Pixel or Pixel 2 will launch the Google Translate application automatically
- Once the app has launched, tap and hold on the right earbud again, and speak in your language at a normal pace (or perhaps a bit slower). Lift your finger when done, and your phone handset will display the translation to the other party, and (if you’ve got the volume up) the phone will speak the translation too
- To reply, the recipient must tap on the microphone button on the smartphone and speak their language into the device
- The conversation will be translated on the phone (so you can read it) and spoken into the Pixel Buds
Sure, it’s a bit clunky, and you can perform something similar on any Android phone without Pixel Buds, but this makes it just a bit easier to have that fluid conversation with someone in a completely different language.