Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Do You Speak English? Parlez-vous français? ¿Hablas español

I've always found language translators a bit clumsy to use.  They help you speak another language, but they rarely help you understand the response you get.  Google Translate Mobile is now alpha testing a new feature called Conversation Mode.  I'm not sure if this has been deployed in their iOS version, but it is available in their Android versions... albeit Spanish being the only language available for this feature for now.

It works just like the regular Google Translate.  You speak into the mic in either English or Spanish, your phone speaks the translation and prepares to listen in the appropriate language.

It performs remarkably well, translation time is dependent on your internet speed of course.  3G or HSPA would be ideal for an almost fluid conversation.  And for SMS based conversations there's a feature for that as well, allowing instant access to your inbox messages, just tap on the message to have it translated.  Again, Conversation Mode is only available in Spanish for now.  To converse in other languages, you'll have to copy & paste your response or send the reply manually via a new message.

Over all, it's pretty cool.  I'm hoping they add German to that list pretty soon...

**Update, this now supports a lot more languages**

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