Google Translate will soon get a real-time transcription feature

The feature is expected to start rolling out to users sometime later this year.

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What you need to know

  • Google will be adding a live transcription feature to the Google Translate app on Android sometime in the coming months.
  • The feature was previewed by the search giant at an artificial intelligence event held in San Francisco.
  • It will require an active internet connection to work, as the translation will be done on Google’s servers.

The Google Translate app received a minor upgrade last month, gaining offline transliteration support for ten new languages. Google is now set to add a new feature to its Google Translate app for Android, which will allow it to transcribe and translate speech from one language to another in real-time. The tech giant previewed the upcoming feature at an event in San Francisco on Tuesday.

The “transcribe mode” within Google Translate app has been developed to translate long-form speeches. It will reportedly only work by capturing live audio through your phone’s microphone, although it is possible that Google may add the ability to work with audio files eventually.

According to The Verge, the feature will constantly evaluate sentences, adding punctuation and correcting word choices based on context. However, transcribe mode will not be available offline. Google says real-time multilingual transcription is a lot more complicated than translating written text, which is why the translation will be done on its servers instead of on-device.

CNET reports that the ‘Transcribe’ feature is currently being tested in Spanish, German, and French. While no specific timeline has been confirmed yet, the company expects to make the tool available for users in the Google Translate app for Android in the coming months.

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