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Google Translate now supports real-time transcription — here's how it works

Real-time Google Translate transcription promises to make bilingual communication easier.

Published onMarch 17, 2020

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Google just announced that the company’s Translate app is getting a killer new feature: real-time transcription. This new functionality is rolling out over the next few days, and it should be available to all Android users by the end of the week. At launch, it will support English, French, German, Hindi, Portuguese, Russian, Spanish, and Thai.

Once your Google Translate app receives the update, there will be a new voice transcription option beneath the text entry box, as pictured below. Selecting this “Transcribe” button lets users pick the source and target languages in a dropdown menu. After it starts, users can pause and restart the transcript on the fly. They can also adjust text size or choose a dark theme in the settings menu for easier readability.

Google Translate live transcription

Google Translate’s voice option has always been able to convert spoken words from one language into another. But, until now, the transcriptions have struggled in longer form scenarios. Real-time transcription makes Google Translate more suited for sharing stories, videos, lectures, etc.

This new functionality works quite similarly to Google’s new Recorder app. We assume that Google Translate is using the same or similar machine learning technology to make real-time translated transcriptions possible.

Read also: Google’s Recorder app is like magic, but here’s how it works

According to The Verge, Google Translate’s live transcription will not support the option to upload audio files at launch. We hope this changes one day, but for now, you will need to let the app listen to a separate audio recording in real-time to get this functionality. Also, this is an Android-only feature for the time being, but Google plans to bring it to iOS in the future. 

If you don’t have the app on your device yet, you can download it from the link below. If Google’s new live transcription feature isn’t available in the app yet, just make sure Translate is up to date, and you should get it soon. Learn more about how Live Translate works in 2022 here.

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