A fresh version of Google Translate hit the Market today. Conversation mode (direct speech to speech translation) now works in 14 languages: Brazilian Portuguese, Czech, Dutch, French, German, Italian, Japanese, Korean, Mandarin Chinese, Polish, Russian and Turkish.  Also new is a personal dictionary, the ability to correct voice input before having it translated, and pinch zoom support for getting a close up of the translated text (Chinese symbols can get surprisingly complicated).

Update: Google's finally got with the program and made an official blog post.

Google has helpfully provided a video:

Notice anything about the voice in the video? It's not the usual scary robot voice. Google has switched to a cloud based text to speech system - it doesn't use Android's built in TTS at all. I wonder if Google will eventually dump from client side TTS entirely, because this sounds way better.


Even if you have no use for translation, try out the app. It's worth it for that "holy crap, I'm living in the future" feeling.

via thisismynext.com

Ron Amadeo
Ron loves everything related to technology, design, and Google. He always wants to talk about "the big picture" and what's next for Android, and he's not afraid to get knee-deep in an APK for some details. Expect a good eye for detail, lots of research, and some lamenting about how something isn't designed well enough.
  • Dennis

    I like the conversation mode. I just had a conversation with myself in Mandarin. It understood what I was saying which is more than I can say for most Chinese speakers ;-)

  • http://alexus.org/ alexus

    downloaded 2.2 build 50 and dont even have this button for conversation mode :( i'm htc thunderbolt w/ 7.1.1

    • Ron Amadeo

      Huh. Yeah same here. Conversation mode is only for certain languages, but it doesn't show up for all the supported languages for me. Spanish works, but Chinese doesn't.

      Just got an update. Works now.

  • par1976

    nice working on my epic 4G , :)

  • Eludium-Q36

    omg, this is sooooooo coooooool. I finally want to travel overseas now!