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Google Translate real-time translation features officially announced

Google has confirmed reports of an imminent Google Translate app update that will add two new powerful real-time translation tools.

On Monday we heard reports that Google was about to take on Skype Translator with its own real-time translation tools.

Now Google has unveiled “the new, more powerful Google Translate app” over on the official Google blog.

The first real-time translation tool mentioned on the blog is instant translation with Word Lens. This lets you hold your iPhone or Android phone’s camera up to a piece of text and have the Google Translate app overlay the translation.

Street signs and menus will magically transform before your eyes in a few short seconds.

Current supported languages include English, French, German, Italian, Portuguese, Spanish, and Russian. What’s more, this feature will even work offline, so you won’t have to suffer from those roaming charges to exploit this cool new feature.

The other big new feature in the new Google Translate is an easy, intelligent real-time conversation function. Now, two taps of the microphone will set the Google Translate app up to listen for a two-language conversation. It will automatically distinguish which party is speaking, and will quickly translate for the other party accordingly.

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Google says that these handy new features will start rolling out on Android and iOS over the next few days, so keep an eye out.

While some of these functions have been around in a less fluid form on Android for some time, this will be quite a leap forward in sophistication for iOS Google Translate users.

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