Google will soon update its mobile translation app, Google Translate to recognize speech in a range of languages and turn it into text, The New York Times reports. The feature will be similar to Skype Translator which Microsoft recently released to select testers.
The update, which is said to arrive soon, will help break language barriers and let the foreign language speakers converse with each other. The report also adds that the Mountain View-based company will be releasing a feature to turn foreign text into one’s native language just by pointing one’s camera at it. Interestingly, this also something Microsoft’ Bing offers. Google also offers a similar feature in its Word Lens app, which is available for Android, iPhone, and Google Glass.
Google Translate has more than 500 active million users. As of now the service supports around 80 languages, which will be bumped up to 90 after the update. The move shows company’s growing interest towards getting more engagement and people to use its services. The company already offers translation of web-pages.
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Skype Translator was first demonstrated in May by Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella and Skype Corporate Vice President Gurdeep Singh Pall. It delivers two-way translated communication using Skype with video. It translates selected languages in real time between the participating parties and displays an on-screen transcript of the conversation as it happens.
Skype Translator works during real-time video chat, but Google’s Translator doesn’t have any such integration with Hangouts as of yet. At this point, it is not known how Google plans to push this feature into users’ lives.