Google Translate gets real-time transcription feature, but only on Android

Google Translate gets real-time transcription feature, but only on Android
Image Source: Google Blog

Google has rolled out an update for its Translate app which will now allow users to transcribe conversations in another language. Google Translate the neural machine translation service is a handy tool for transliteration of websites and text in different languages.  But although Translate’s voice option has been able to convert spoken words from one language to another, the real-time transcription was missing.

Thankfully with the latest update, Google Translate will now enable users to record speech in one language and reproduce into translated text in real-time.

Google CEO Sundar Pichai in a tweet mentioned that the new Transcribe feature in Google Translate will be available for Android users in 8 different languages including English, French, German, Hindi, Portuguese, Russian, Spanish, and Thai.

With the Transcribe feature, Google Translate will be capable of translating long-form speeches, spoken words from pre-recorded audio making it easier for users to share videos, lectures, etc. This was a different case earlier when Translate’s speech-to-text AI was able to transform only a word, text or a sentence. Notably, the Transcribe feature was previewed in January this year.

According to The Verge, Google Translate’s real-time transcription feature will not support the option to upload at launch. However, it will allow users to change the text size that appears for real-time translations or pause or resume a translation at any time.

An internet connection is required to use this feature and Transcribe uses Live Transcribe speech paired with Tensor Processing Units (TPUs) to deliver updates to a translation every second.

Google Translate gets real-time transcription feature, but only on Android
On the left: redesigned home screen. On the right: how to change the settings for a comfortable read.

You can download the Google Translate update on Google Play Store. The app once updated, you can use the Transcribe tool by tapping on the Transcribe icon at the center-right corner of the interface. Following this, you will need to select a source and target language from the language dropdown at the top. You can restart a transcription by tapping on the mic icon. Google in its blog post mentioned that the transcribe feature will work well in a quiet environment.

While the latest Transcribe feature has been made available only to the Android users, Google has not shared any word as to when it plans to roll out on the iOS platform.


About the author

Meghna Dutta

Meghna works as a senior writer at Gadgets Beat. Fascinated with tech innovation she likes testing any gadget in hand. During idle hours she loves exploring the dusty roads and take a snap of the wilderness of the countryside.

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