Use Google Translate to Understand Anything, Anywhere

Undoubtedly, one of the best uses for your smartphone when you’re traveling abroad is for language translations. With an app like Google Translate, knowing what signs say, what people are saying to you, and how to say what you want to say in return is easier than ever.

Gone are the days when we’d have to fumble around awkwardly for a dual-language dictionary or book of key phrases. Google Translate gives you so much more so you can spend your time enjoying the places you visit from the sights to the culture without missing a beat. It’s a global tool for a global world that is coming together more rapidly, and with around 6,500 languages spoken. Mandarin Chinese ranks as the most spoken language in the world. Going to China? You’ll want Google Translate on your side to help you communicate with the amazing people there.

Here’s what it can do:

  • Translates signs on the spot – If you’ve ever been in a foreign country and have no earthly idea what the signs in the subway or on a restaurant menu say, simply using your smartphone camera can help you instantly know by translating it to your native language. Just touch the camera button in the app and take a photo of the item in question.
  • Translates spoken words – Talk directly into your microphone and the app will translate what you say. You can even hold a pre-recorded audio or video playing close to your microphone to get a translation. If you don’t understand someone, you can have them speak into the app to find out. One word of caution though: it doesn’t do well when the person speaking stops mid-thought. This could lead to odd translations.
  • Download a whole language for use offline – Sometimes, you can’t get reliable phone service where you visit. You can download the entire language of your choice to use offline for this occasion. To avoid problems, do this before your trip, preferably somewhere with Wi-Fi so you don’t use up all your data.
  • Create a phrasebook – Save and reuse the words or expressions you need the most. Click the star image to save anything you think would be useful to recall again, like how to ask for where the bathroom is.
  • Hear things more slowly – Ever wish people would slow down when speaking a language you’re learning? Google Translate can slow down the speed of its speech when you push the listen image twice. It will slow down the translation so you can process it better, which is fantastic for new learners.

With Google Translate, you never have to worry about not understanding the language where you go. It will help you find your way, make new friends, and find something enjoyable to try on any menu.