Google Translate can now transcribe audio from 8 different languages such as Hindi, English, French, German, Portuguese, Russian, Spanish and Thai, the company said in a blog post. The company claims that the transcription will take place “as it’s happening”, that is, without any delay for processing. The feature was first demoed in January.
How to use transcribe: The latest update of Google Translate now has a “Transcribe” icon in the home screen. Upon clicking that icon, users will be able to choose the source and target languages, see the original transcript, change the text size or choose a dark theme in the settings menu. Google clarified to MediaNama that the feature works only for live audio, meaning that users cannot upload an audio file for transcription on the app.
Where the function works best: Google said that as of now, the feature will work best in a quiet environment with one person speaking at a time, but it will “continue to make speech translations available in a variety of situations”. In other situations, “the app will still do its best to provide the gist of what’s being said,” Google said.
Availability: We were not able to test the feature, since the latest update doesn’t seem to be available on the Indian Play Store at the time of writing this story. However, Google did say that the feature would be rolling out in the next few days. As of now, the feature is only available for Android users. A Google spokesperson told us that there are plans to roll it out to iOS but there’s no confirmed date as yet.
Last month, Google had added five new languages to Translate, for the first time in four years, including Odia and Uyghur, taking the total language count that Translate supports to 108.