Google Assistant becomes simultaneous translator: how it works

Google Assistant now allows you to automatically translate what people say, thus turning into a kind of simultaneous translator

Announced in January 2019, the new feature of automatic translation of foreign languages has finally arrived on almost all Android phones. Of course through Google Translator, but directly within Assistant.

After bringing translation within Google Maps, then, Big G makes the big step that everyone has been waiting for a long time: a feature to be able to talk to foreigners, without knowing their language. Our words can be translated and pronounced by the smartphone (or other devices with Google Assistant integrated) in 44 different languages and, simultaneously, the words in one of these 44 languages will be translated and pronounced in Italian. Simultaneous translation is based on the cloud: it is possible to download dictionaries to our smartphone, but it is not yet possible to use the simultaneous translator offline.

How Google's simultaneous translator works

The operation of the simultaneous translator via Google Assistant is very simple and immediate. Just say a phrase like "Ok Google, activate the translator" to get started. If you don't have the Google Translator app installed on your smartphone, you'll be notified that you need to install it. Otherwise, this app will be launched automatically. In the new Google Translator screen there is now a new icon: "Conversation". By tapping on it you can start speaking in your own language and then hear the translation coming out of the phone's speaker.

Automatic or manual translator

Three icons appear at the bottom of the screen: first language on the left, second language on the right, and "Automatic" in the center. This means that we can choose whether to tap on the language to be translated, and then speak one at a time, or let Translator detect by itself who is speaking and in what language, and then translate into the other. This feature is very convenient, but works well if the two speakers don't overlap.

Google Translator on other smart devices

This new feature is available on all Google Home speakers, some speakers with Google Assistant built in, and all smart displays. Of course, on devices without a touch screen, translation will only happen in automatic mode and we won't be able to choose to speak in turn.