When Google first unveiled its visual translation feature inside the Google Translate app, it seemed pretty damn cool. But after a recent trip overseas, it proved itself incredibly useful.
Google has just made it even more useful by adding a bunch of new languages. Before, you could hold your phone up to a road sign, menu, or whatever and receive an instant, video translation in seven languages – English, French, German, Italian, Portuguese, Russian and Spanish.
No, it's up to 27.
You can now translate to and from English and Bulgarian, Catalan, Croatian, Czech, Danish, Dutch, Filipino, Finnish, Hungarian, Indonesian, Lithuanian, Norwegian, Polish, Romanian, Slovak, Swedish, Turkish and Ukrainian. You can also do one-way translations from English to Hindi and Thai (from English, but not to English).
Each language pack is less than 2MB, and works offline.
This means that the Google Translate app now lets you do instant video translations in 27 languages, and photo translations in 37.
With the app update, Google has also improved the speed of voice translations.
"In many emerging markets, slow mobile networks can make it challenging to access many online tools - so if you live in an area with unreliable mobile networks, our other update today is for you. In addition to instant visual translation, we’ve also improved our voice conversation mode (enabling real-time translation of conversations across 32 languages), so it’s even faster and more natural on slow networks," says Barak Turovsky, Google Translate lead.