We have seen Google promising real time transcription for Google Translate for a while now and it is now starting to roll out to Android users.

In a blog post Google has described how, that from today, the Google Translate Android app will be able to transcribe some foreign language speech as it is happening. With a roll out going to take a few days the new transcribe mode will work for eight languages at this stage:

  • English
  • French
  • German
  • Hindi
  • Portugese
  • Russian
  • Spanish
  • Thai

The update is rolling out from an update via the Play Store so you will obviously have to make sure you have the latest app version for it to work. Once you have the latest update you should be able to begin transcribing foreign languages by using the “Transcribe” icon (funny that) next to Camera and Conversation on the interface of the landing page.

The new feature is geared towards longer form transcription such as lectures and speeches. To begin transcription you do need to select the source and target languages from the language dropdown at the top of the page. There is an ability to pause and restart transcriptions by tapping on the mic icon, change font size and theme and also to show the original text.

Google say in their blog that they will continue to make speech translations available in a variety of situations but at this stage the transcribe feature works best “in a quiet environment with one person speaking at a time”. At other times the app does its best to provide the “gist of what’s being said”.

Google recommend to continue to use Conversation mode for back and forth translated conversation with someone. It is possible that with so many of us now encouraged to work from home this could be a very welcome addition to many lives.

If you speak another language test it out for us and let us know how it goes.

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Japanese isn’t on the list.
That’s a serious omission, considering this year’s Olympics.