No Need to Take a Photo: Google Translate Adds Instant Translation via WordLens

The Google Translate apps for Android and iOS have long supported translating text from a photo taken by your smartphone’s camera, and now Google has simplified the process.

Google rolled out a new version of the app which lets users simply point their smartphone’s camera at a signor other piece of text and automatically see the translation:


The new translation feature is dependent on a startup called Word Lens, which Google bought last year. it currently works for translation from English to and from French, German, Italian, Portuguese, Russian, and Spanish, and Google says they’re working to expand to more languages.

Google says that they’ve also tweaked the spoken translation functions so that you  conversation will flow faster and more naturally. Rather than having to tap the mic button between each translation,  users now only have to tap the button once for each of the two languages being translated, after which the app will translate between the two languages automatically.

Google via The Wiggles

Nate Hoffelder

View posts by Nate Hoffelder
Nate Hoffelder is the founder and editor of The Digital Reader. He has been blogging about indie authors since 2010 while learning new tech skills weekly. He fixes author sites, and shares what he learns on The Digital Reader's blog. In his spare time, he fosters dogs for A Forever Home, a local rescue group.


  1. puzzled18 January, 2015

    Yes, but will it translate, into English, signs that have already bee translated into bad English?

    1. Nate Hoffelder20 January, 2015

      More importantly, will it translate from English into American?


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