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How to use Google Translate camera to translate images instantly

google translate camera

A few years back, translating images with your camera seemed like a technology from the distant future. Well, the future has arrived! You can now use Google Translate to translate any image you want in real-time. And it’s instant! It doesn’t get more convenient than that.

How to use Google Translate camera for translating images

Getting the Google Translate camera into action is as easy as it gets. You just need to point your camera at the text you want to translate and let the magic happen. Here’s precisely what you need to do:

  1. Open the Google Translate app
  2. Choose the language you want to translate from and the language you want to translate translate with camera
  3. Tap the camera button.
  4. Grant necessary permissions.
  5. You’ll be asked to download additional translation files. If you do so, you’ll be able to use Instant translation. If not, you’ll have to capture the image translate image
  6. Point your camera at the text you want to translate, if the instant translation is available, the text will change right in front of your translate camera
  7. In case the instant translation feature isn’t enabled, tap the camera button to capture the image.
  8. Now, highlight the text you want to translate, and the app will automatically translate it.

There you go, you can now use Google Translate to translate any document, street sign, or headline just by pointing your camera at it. Just keep in mind it’s still Google Translate, so some translations may not be on point, especially when you’re translating larger texts. But it still gets the job done exceptionally well.

Google Translate’s snapping feature is available in multiple languages. So, no matter where you go, chances are you’ll be able to use this it. The full list of supported languages is available here.

Use Google Lens for instant translation

If you, for some reason, don’t prefer Google Translate, there’s an alternative: Google’s AI-powered image-recognition service, Google Lens. While Google Translate requires you to download some additional files to enable instant translation, Google Lens allows you to use instant translation out of the box, without any additions.

To translate images with Google Lens, open the app (download it from the store first if you don’t already have it), tap the Translate button on the far left, and point your camera at the text you want to translate. The text will translate automatically, without requiring you to snap a shot.

google translate camera

That’s about it. You now know how to use both Google Translate and Google Lens to translate text from images automatically. The technology works fine; it just needs a bit more polishing to be even more reliable and accurate. But we’re sure Google is already working on these improvements, so the best is yet to come.

If you have any comments, questions, or suggestions, just let us know in the comments below.

Editor’s note: This article was initially published in January 2019. We made sure to revamp it for freshness and accuracy.

Picture of Ivan Jenic

Ivan Jenic

Editor-in-chief at Mobile Internist. @ivan_jenic I founded Mobile Internist to help people understand technology better. And maybe solve some annoying problems. That's about it, cheers!
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