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Point, tap, brush and listen

Thursday, August 9, 2012 | 11:24 AM

With our latest update to our Google Translate app for Android, we’re aiming to get one step closer to the Babel fish. By integrating Google Goggles’ optical character recognition (OCR) technology, we’ve made it possible for you to use the camera of your Android smartphone to input text without typing. This makes Google Translate for Android one of our most intelligent and machine learning-intensive apps. Speech recognition, handwriting recognition, OCR, and machine translation all rely on powerful statistical models built on billions of samples of data. Here’s how it comes together:






To use our new camera feature, push the camera button, point at some text, tap to freeze the picture, brush the part you want with your finger, et voila -- enjoy your machine translation. As usual, you can click the text-to-speech icons to listen to the source text or the translated text. We currently support optical character recognition for Czech, Dutch, English, French, German, Italian, Polish, Portuguese, Russian, Spanish, and Turkish, and we’re also working hard to get more languages on the list.

Now give it a try -- translate your favorite tapas menu items quicker when you’re visiting Barcelona, decipher those mysterious Australian roadsigns, and finally learn how to pronounce the name of your favorite Russian movie
. Leave us a comment on Google Play to tell us what you think.

Posted by Etienne Deguine - Associate Product Manager for Google Translate