Google Translate has received a neat little update that makes it an even handier tool for international travelers. The app will now be able to translate certain languages in offline mode; is does not need an Internet connection to translate between certain languages.
The new feature will provide for offline translations in over 50 languages even if you do not have a data pack active, or do not wish to use it while you’re travelling. To enable offline translation, you need to select “Offline Languages” from the app menu. You can choose from the various language packs available.
In order to translate between any two languages, you need to select them both from the offline languages menu. The newest update is available for Android devices running version 2.3 and up, which encompasses almost all phones and tablets available.
You can download the offline packs over Wi-Fi before leaving home
This is a great move on Google’s part as Google Translate has become pretty much indispensable for the international traveller. With the offline translation mode activated, users no longer need to splurge on a data connection for something as essential as translation.
However, Google warns that the offline mode translations will not always be spot on. “While the offline models are less comprehensive than their online equivalents, they are perfect for translating in a pinch when you are traveling abroad with poor reception or without mobile data access,” Google wrote in a blog post announcing this feature.
It is also great to see Google taking Gingerbread users into the fold with this update. Arguably, Gingerbread still rules nearly 40 percent of all Android versions running on devices currently. This update will be a boon for a large number of Android users.
Besides an offline translation mode, Android users travelling to the Far East are in luck as this updates brings the ability to translate vertical Chinese, Japanese and Korean text. All you need to do is to aim your camera at the text.
The app got the ability to translate using the camera in December last year. It could support translations for only horizontal text for the first few months though.
Earlier this month, Google updated Translate for web, adding a new phrasebook feature to it. Using this feature, you could bookmark translated phrases and could go back to them without having to type the sentence out again. A very handy tool if you’re in a foreign country, you can bookmark everyday phrases such as “Good Morning,” “Thank You,” and “Sorry.” This great feature is only available for the desktop version of Google Translate yet, but we would love it if the mobile versions of the app were updated with it too.
To download the app, head on to Google Play store.
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