Wednesday , August 22 2018

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:

  1. Set up your Pixel Buds and make sure they’re paired to your Google Pixel or Pixel 2
  2. Download Google Translate from the Google Play Store:
    Google Translate
    Google Translate
    Developer: Google LLC
    Price: Free
  3. Keep your phone unlocked, and pop the Pixel Buds in your ears
  4. Activate Google Assistant by touching and holding the right earbud with one of these commands:
    1. Help me speak <language>, e.g. help me speak French
    2. Be my <language> translator
    3. I want to speak <language>
    4. I need a <language> interpreter
  5. When you release the right bud, your Pixel or Pixel 2 will launch the Google Translate application automatically
  6. 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
  7. To reply, the recipient must tap on the microphone button on the smartphone and speak their language into the device
  8. 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.

Chris Rowland   Editor and Publisher

Chris has been at the forefront of smartphone reporting in Australia since smartphones were a thing, and has used mobile phones since they came with giant lead-acid batteries that were "transportable" and were carried in a shoulder bag. He saw the transition from AMPS to GSM, loved the Motorola StarTac, and got into Palm technologies in a big way. The arrival some years later of the original iPhone, and then the early Androids, awoke a new interest in mobile technology, and Chris has been writing about it since.

Today, Chris publishes one of Australia's most popular technology websites, Ausdroid. His interests include mobile (of course), as well as connected technology and how it can make all our lives easier.

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