Google upgraded its Google Translate app last week, adding two new tools that expand the smartphone app's capabilities.
The first is a voice tool that provides users with the ability to translate spoken words more seamlessly than before. The tool works best with short, jargon-free sentences with a significant pause between translations, making it ideal for commercial transactions such as ordering at a restaurant.
The other tool is a visual translator, which is based on the Word Lens app developed by Quest Visual. Google acquired Quest last May with the goal of incorporating its technology into Google Translate. The new tool enables users to put a piece of text in front of their smartphone's camera and receive an instantaneous translation.
Google Translate product leader Barak Turovsky says the app now supports 80 languages and has about 500 million monthly users who receive about a billion translations a day. The app's underlying technology is similar to that of the company's search engine; the software crawls the Web for documents that already have been translated and performs statistic analyses on them to determine which translation is the most accurate.
From The New York Times
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