Google Translate app for Android has been updated to version 2.5.3. Those updating to the newest version of the app will be able to translate Chinese, Japanese and Korean languagesby recognising text with their camera. However, it only supports horizontal text at the moment. Moreover, the app can now recognise handwriting in more languages, i.e. Afrikaans, Croatian, Czech, Icelandic, Latvian, Lithuanian, Macedonian, Slovak, Slovenian, Ukrainian and Welsh. To be able to use the Google Translate app, Android users will need devices running version 2.1 and above. Head over to the Google Play store to download the latest version of the app. 

app 1

Recognises text with camera

A popular Android app, Google Translate allows you to translate text between more than 64 languages. Users can translate words and phrases between over 65 languages using the app. For most languages, users can even speak their phrases and hear the corresponding translations. Additionally, users can use their camera to click a picture and brush text to translate – the feature is available on Android version 2.3 and above. 

The app allows users to communicate with others using speech-to-speech translation in Conversation Mode (ALPHA, 14 languages). Translations can be viewed in full screen mode to make it easy for others nearby to read. Users can star their favourite translations for quick access even when offline. Users can spell out the translation of non-Latin script languages (e.g. Chinese, Japanese etc..) in Latin characters to read it phonetically (e.g. Pinyin, Romaji). They can also view additional dictionary results for single words or short phrases. To write what you want to translate, all you need to do is push the handwriting button. 

app 2

Recognising handwritings

The Google Translate app for Android was updated to version 2.5 in August this year. The new version, among other things, allowed users to take a picture of the text that they want translated and then swipe it to have it translated. This new feature is available to users with Android 2.3 and up. Late in 2010, we had reported about Word Lens, which did something similar with images and translation. Word Lens is an app for the iPhone that instantly translates text in an image. It uses optical character recognition technology. So the next time you don't understand something, just point at it with your iPhone camera and you'll be greeted by an instant translation.

Among other features, the updated Google Translate app provides you instant translation results as you type. Users also have the option of choosing dialect preferences for speech input. One of the other highlighted features of the updated app is multiple character recognition for Japanese handwriting input. 

Last year, Google had added as many as 14 global languages to the Conversation Mode feature. The feature is now available in Brazilian Portuguese, Czech, Dutch, French, German, Italian, Japanese, Korean, Mandarin Chinese, Polish, Russian and Turkish, taking the total number of supported languages to an impressive 16.

Conversation Mode was first introduced as an experiment. This feature allowed users to speak directly into their smartphone's microphone, and the app would translate the spoken language and would read it aloud. Then, the person on the other end would speak into their microphone and the Translation app would translate it for you and read it aloud.

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