Once upon a time, there was a hater and a girl. The hater was a man of few words, but the words he did utter were…well, that of a hater…so negative. I mean, he’s a hater, right? The girl was a bright-eyed spirit wishing nothing but good for others. She skipped along in life, smiling and laughing and loving to see beautiful sites and to meet all kinds of fabulous people. And then the hater crossed paths with the girl.
The girl, cheerful of nature, thanked him for being a part of her life and wished him a wonderful day. And so the hater said something she didn’t quite understand well at all…because it was in Russian! Being in the 2010s, she took it upon herself to go on a magical journey to discover the meaning of his words. This journey led her to understanding him fully and happily skipping out of his life. This journey led her…to Google Translate!
If you’ve traveled overseas, you’re probably familiar with this awesome mobile application. It’s not just a laptop translation from a Google search anymore! And what a fabulously helpful app it is! Are you one of the 200 million users daily to check it out? Trust me, if not, you should join in the fun for so many reasons!
Press & Hold To Copy
One of the most irritating things to me about iPhones is trying to copy text. In Google Translate, merely hold your finger on the translation until it says, “Translation copied,” a short second later. Presto! Could copy life be any easier? What a time saver! This can be invaluable if you are messaging back and forth with someone who doesn’t speak your native language as I’ve had the pleasure of doing in Russian! Paste it anywhere…texts, emails, your search menu…with complete ease!
Saved & Favorite Translation Histories
Have you ever translated something, used the translation, and closed the translation application only to need the same translation later? Yeah. Me too. Very irritating. However, thanks to Google’s smart thinking, translation histories are saved! You can even make translations favorites to avoid deleting them when you clear your search history! That’s some great foresight from a company that probably saw the same Google accounts searching the same translations over and over…like me.
Real-Time Translation Via Camera App
Word Lens was the predecessor; but once Google bought Quest Visual to secure the technology to translate pictures, they embedded it in the Google Translate application! How awesome is it to just use the camera to translate words live without needing to type (or draw…Translate has that functionality too!)? Really awesome. The time savings from this allows you to read and keep moving. Perfect for use on foreign menus, at foreign museums, and so much more! At last, that fabulous painting’s explanatory sign you found in your next Italian museum makes sense…faster and easier than ever!
100 Languages & Growing!
Google Translate has over 100 languages, and 14 more are on the way! Naturally, major languages like Spanish, French, and Russian are covered. With a level of 100, you receive access to other important languages that are not as widely spoken. Think awesome options like Somali, Uzbek, and Macedonian. Plus, Google is working on great additions like Tibetan and Cherokee. The world is suddenly much more at your fingertips–literally–as you tap-tap-tap your way to communicating with a huge portion of the rest of the planet! Amazing!
Vocalized Translation Text
Have you ever translated something only to wonder, “How on earth do I say that?” Google Translate saves the day. A ton of the languages allow you to hear the pronunciation of your translated text. And some even have a non-robotic voice! This feature is extremely helpful when working with languages with different alphabets like Cyrillic or with scripts that are logographic like Japanese. And it could even save you from speaking it entirely if you just use the tool to speak for you to another person!
Downloadable Language Packages
All of the aforementioned features are fun and helpful, but what if you’re in an area without mobile data or limited Wi-Fi connectivity? Google Translate has over 50 languages available to download! That is a huge swath of the planet suddenly that much more accessible. Honestly, I’d recommend just downloading the language if you know you might need it offline and it’s available. Save that data usage for another day.
Here is a frightening thought: one language disappears from this planet every two weeks. What a loss of culture! But the potential vision of the future with Google Translate is especially encouraging as they capture languages into the application that are spoken by less and less people. In Google Translate, we have the possibility to preserve endangered languages for future generations. Not only do we have a communication tool…we also have the early makings of a cultural preservation tool, directly aligning to Google’s vision statement, “to organize the world’s information and make it universally accessible and useful.” And that, for all our world’s efforts to preserve history and culture, is an exciting prospect for everyone. (Hurry up, Google! Keep cranking that language goodness!)
So there you have it! Seven major features, all exciting and useful to a world becoming increasingly small and interconnected! Did I leave out a feature you love? Comment below, and let’s discuss!