As a professional translator, I don’t really trust automated translation machines to do my translating for me, because they are often just blatantly wrong or they do not capture the minute complexities and nuances of the language which have to be taken into account to ensure a quality translation. So I wouldn’t use it for translating long and complex texts, however, it can prove to be very useful when you want to know the gist of a particular sentence or paragraph, just to give you a vague idea as to what the speaker/writer meant. It’s great for travellers, who want to translate some basic key expressions or are curious to know what is written on a particular sign, billboard or menu. It won’t produce a grammatically correct translation in the target text, but on the upside, sometimes you’re going to have a good laugh at the expense of Google translate.
A great feature of this app is that it instantly translates printed texts into a wide range of different languages. What you need to do is simple: just point your phone camera at a text to translate it and voila. It does have its downsides and works better with some texts than others. For example, it works great with well lit signs and menus, but doesn’t work so well with books or stylized text. All you have to do is set your language preferences, tap the “camera” button to enhance text recognition, highlight the text using your finger and that’s it. Instant translation. I tried to use this application offline to translate some text from English to Arabic, but it warned me that I have to download an instant camera translation package, so you can’t use all the features without internet access and you need at least mobile data access (which can cost a lot, especially in a foreign country.)
Another great feature is the SMS translation, which is great when texting a friend, who doesn’t speak your language. You are not going to get a perfect translation, slang expressions or abbreviations will remain in the original, but you’ll understand what that person was trying to say. And I think that’s the main point of the Google translate app, not to produce grammatically and semantically perfect translations (use a real, human translator for that), but you will be able to understand the meaning and be understood. The downside is, however, that you need a wi-fi connection to fully take advantage of this app, which could pose a problem for travellers abroad, who don’t always have the option to connect to the internet.
The speech recognition feature is also pretty amazing and so very useful. Just set your language settings, tap the microphone and start talking. But be sure to be clear and enunciate properly. And poof, you get an instant translation, which the app spells out and even pronounces in the foreign language for you. Again, it may not be perfect, but chances are, you’ll at least be understood, which the main point in my opinion is. I think this app is pure gold for travellers visiting a country, whose language they don’t know. I only I had used it on my trip to Italy.
You could download the translate App from google play store or using the link below