After updating Google Translate back in early January with Word Lens, a feature that uses your phone’s camera to translate printed text, Google today updated that feature with support for many more languages.
When Google Translate gained Word Lens earlier this year, it supported translation for seven languagues: English, French, German, Italian, Portuguese, Russian, and Spanish. Today Google added support for another 20 languages, bringing the total number of support languages to 27. The newly-added languages are:
Google says that you can instantly translate to and from English with all of those 20 new languages save for Hindi and Thai, which only support going from English to them. Alternatively, you can snap a photo of the text that you’d like translated, a feature that supports 37 languages.
In order to try out these new languages, launch Google Translate, select English and the language that you’d like to translate. You’ll then be asked to download a the language pack for each language. Downloading the language pack ensures that you’ll be able to perform these instant text translations offline.
In addition to adding new instant translation languages, Google has improved Translate’s voice conversation mode that allows for real-time conversations with 32 languages. Google says that voice conversation should now be faster and more natural on slower networks.
This is a pretty huge update for Google Translate. Not only does it add a huge number of languages for instant translation, but the improved voice conversation means that more folks should be able to communicate with others more reliably and smoothly. If you’re traveling to a country with a language that you don’t speak, Google Translate is becoming an extremely helpful tool.