Revealed during the company’s Live from Paris event, Google Translate is getting a much-needed update as it gains arguably the most important translation metric: context.
With the power of AI, Google translator will start to provide more “contextual translation options” with examples in the intended language. In the given example, the AI will be able to understand whether you are talking about ordering a bass (fish) for dinner or ordering a bass (instrument) for your band. The service will then provide sample sentences for each translation that relates to a specific meaning.
In addition to maintaining accuracy, ad states (opens in a new tab) Google Translate will start using “appropriate phrases, local idioms, or appropriate words depending on intent.” In this way, the translated sentence will match how the native speaker speaks it.
The update will roll out to Google Translate on both mobile and web versions in the coming weeks. Only a handful of languages will be supported at first: English, French, German, Japanese, and Spanish. Other reports (opens in a new tab) they say more languages will be coming in a few months. We contacted Google to confirm this; however, a representative told us that the company does not have any new information to share at this time.
Updating iOS apps
In addition, the redesigned Google Translate app, which first appeared on Android, is making its way to iOS. iPhone owners will now have a ton of quality-of-life changes like a “larger canvas to write on”. [alongside] more accessible entry points. The user interface has also been streamlined to make translation easier.
You’ll also have a more dynamic font that will automatically correct itself as you type. “Alternative translations and dictionary definitions” will appear next to the translations. Users can also hold the language button to “quickly select the last used language”. And swiping down on the text area brings up the latest translations.
As an icing on the cake, Google Translate for iOS will support an additional 33 languages ranging from Hawaiian, Hmong, Luxembourgish, and Yiddish – just to name a few. It is recommended to download this batch to your phone in case you are stuck without internet connection and need to translate something on the fly. A set of instructions on how to download them can be can be found on the Translator’s help page (opens in a new tab).
Hopefully, with these changes, Google Translate is able to shake things up long-standing reputation (opens in a new tab) being incorrect. But if you still don’t trust the service and want something better, be sure to check out TechRadar’s recently updated list best translation software in 2023.