Not everyone knows that Google Assistant has an interpreter mode. This tool can translate in real time in a language of your choice and read the phrases out loud. If you’re curious about how you can turn it on, continue reading, as we explain here everything you need to know about this useful feature.
What Is Interpreter Mode and Why Is It Useful?
Interpreter mode is a feature in Google Assistant that is accessible on both Android and iOS devices. It was initially available on select smart speakers (including the Google Home), smart displays and smart clocks. The option eventually made it on to phones and tablets as well.
There are a total of 44 languages to choose from on your phone or tablet, including Arabic, Bengali, Burmese, Cambodian, Czech, Danish, Dutch, English, Filipino (Tagalog), Finnish, French, German, Greek, Gujarati, Hindi, Hungarian, Indonesian, Italian, Japanese, Javanese, Kannada, Korean, Malayalam, Marathi, Mandarin, Nepali, Norwegian, Polish, Portuguese, Romanian, Russian, Sinhala, Slovak, Spanish, Sudanese, Swedish, Tamil, Telugu, Thai, Turkish, Ukrainian, Urdu and Vietnamese.
Once interpreter mode is activated, users can simply speak into the device to get the translation, which is displayed on screen and read out loud. The tool also offers the option to easily copy the translated text.
Overall, interpreter mode is a very useful tool that enables users to have conversation with people who speak different languages. While interpreter mode is great to have when you’re traveling, the feature can prove extremely practical if you happen have a colleague at work from another country or a family member who can’t speak your language.
How to Activate Interpreter Mode on Your Device
On your phone, bring up the Google Assistant either by saying “Hey Google” or opening the dedicated app. You can also open the Google app and tap on the voice button in the search bar. To get started with interpreter mode, simply say “Hey Google, be my Russian interpreter” or whatever language you want your translation to be in.
You can use several other prompts including:
- “Help me speak Spanish”
- “Interpret from Romanian to Dutch”
- “French interpreter”
- “Turn on interpreter mode”
If you use the last one, the Assistant will ask you to manually select the language you want to translate to. From the same menu, you can change the language you’ll be speaking in as well. It’s set to English by default.
Next, the Assistant will prompt you to tap on the mic button and start talking. (Wait for the tone.) The Google Assistant will display and read out the translation for you immediately. Google also offers up a series of smart replies in the translated language. This way you’ll be able to continue having a fluid conversation.
Remove the Language Barrier
In addition, interpreter mode has a “manual mode,” which features a mic for both languages so that the Assistant can translate what’s being said back and forth. Simply tap between the two buttons to have a seamless conversation.
If you prefer, you can type in the text you want translated via keyboard mode. This option is very helpful if you’re in a quiet environment. Google Assistant is not yet able to speak some languages like Icelandic, so even if you see the option in interpreter mode, you’ll only be able to take advantage of keyboard mode (or in some cases manual mode).
Once you’re done, tell the Assistant to stop or exit the feature. Or you can simply tap on the “X” in the top right of the display. The Assistant will say, “Sure, I’ll stop translating,” so you can move on to something else.
How to Add a Google Assistant Interpreter Shortcut to Your Phone’s Home Screen
For those who need to use Interpreter Mode often, it can be a good idea to create a shortcut on their phone’s home screen for easier access.
This eliminates the need to say “Okay Google” every time you want to use the feature or to ask the Assistant to turn on the service. Instead, you’ll just tap on the shortcut to get started.
The next time you are in interpreter mode, look in the upper-right corner. Next to the “X” that allows you to turn off the feature, you’ll notice a phone button.
Tap on it, and a pop-up will appear with the shortcut. You’ll have to drag it manually to your home screen from there or tap “Add Automatically.”
You should create a shortcut for the language you use the most, but if you constantly require translation in more than one language, then the good news is that you can create multiple shortcuts.
Google Assistant is a great service. If you want to learn more about how you can use it to its full extent, then read on to learn how you can make the virtual assistant read your articles out loud or how you can use it with your Xbox One.