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Google Translate – App Review & Functions

Google Translate App

It almost seems like Google knows it all, the answer to every question and problem and if those answers are only available in a language you don’t speak, no problem, that is what the Google Translate app is for!

Google Translate supports more than 100 languages. It translates texts, websites, documents, photos, and speech in close to real-time. Thanks to the Google Translate app for iOS and Android, interpreters and translators virtually fit in your pocket and can be used both online and offline on your smartphone or tablet. In short, it seems like this app has it all, but is that accurate?

We had a closer look at the Google translate app. In this article, we will be highlighting when the app can be rather useful and when you are better off hiring a qualified translator or interpreter like EHLION!

Functions and Application Possibilities

When taking a look at the Google search results, one can immediately spot phrases like “google translate camera app” or “google translate voice app”, so let’s get one thing off the table right away: yes, with google translate you can translate via your camera and you can input a text via voice recognition, but you don’t need to install a separate app for that. All those functions are integrated into one app.

The app is free, so all you need to do is install the Google Translate app and you are good to go.

Google Translate app download for iOS and Android.

Google translator – Offline Version

Haven’t we all been there, looking for words in a foreign language during our holidays, but there was no Wi-Fi hotspot nearby to look them up?  This is why everyone, who loves traveling, will be happy to hear that the Google language translator app also works offline!

To use the offline translator one first needs to download the desired language package.

To do so, open your Google Translate app, click on the menu and go to “offline translation”. Now you can see all the languages that are available offline.

Click on the arrow icon on the left side of the language to start downloading the language package you have chosen.

The offline version offers 59 languages. Furthermore, translating via your smartphone camera also works offline. The camera translation however tends to look a bit scrambled.  Also, keep in mind that not all online functions are available offline.

Are you looking for the best offline translator apps? Then we have got you covered! Take a look at our article “Offline Translator”.


The app allows you to translate conversations between two people in almost real-time.

To use the conversation mode, open the app and click on the “conversation” symbol. Here you can select the language pair. After that, you can either click on the language which is being spoken, or you click on “listening for both languages” to use the automatic language detection.

The translation will be displayed as text and you can also listen to the audio version.

Without a doubt, this feature is nice to have, especially when traveling, but it isn’t sufficient for translations in a business context for example during a meeting. It is also worth mentioning that the app works best in a quiet environment and when people speak without a dialect as whenever you say something in a dialect the chances are that you get a funny, and completely wrong translation!

In general, speech recognition worked well when we tested. Sometimes, however, it had problems recognizing, which parts of the sentence belong together.

Like in example no.1:

The correct translation of “entschuldigen Sie” would have been “Excuse me”. Google however translated it with “to apologize”, because it put “enschuldigen” and “Sie” in two different sentences.

Google translate – photos and instant translation via camera

Whether it is a street sign in Cyrillic or a menu in Hindi, Google Translate can also translate the text on images.  You can either take a screenshot, a photo, or point your camera towards the text you want to translate and the app will translate the text that is visible on the image.

You can also choose to import photos for higher-quality translations instead of using the instant camera translation option.

Other functions

With the app, you can also translate text messages. What we found to be a really cool feature, is that your search history remains displayed, and if the user clicks on the star symbol right next to the translation, the translation is saved for quicker reference.

In case you are logged in to your Google account, you can also sync your content between the app and the desktop version of Google Translate.

Supported languages

The Google Translate app currently supports 103 languages, BUT this is only for text input via your smartphone or tablet keyboard. Other functions of the app are available in fewer languages.

The Google Translate instant camera translation translates into one out of 88 languages.

The conversation mode can be used in 43 languages. There are 59 offline language packages available and handwritten input is possible in 95 languages.

Review – Google Translate app

The Google Translate app is free and comes with various functions and more than 100 languages.  Whether the Google translate app for PC or your mobile device is the right option for you, depends on the purpose of use.

The app is an ideal companion during your travels, whether you need to translate a menu or a street sign, or just snap a photo for translation and if you want to talk to the taxi driver, the conversation mode of the app has got you covered!

You can also benefit from the voice output if you are learning a new language. This allows you to practice language comprehension and pronunciation.  

Overall, it can be said that thanks to AI, machine translation has massively improved in recent years. Translations sound more fluent and contain fewer errors, and we can only agree after we put the app to the test. In addition to Google Translate, DeepL is also one of the machine translators everyone is talking about due to the natural-sounding results.

Why Google Translate is not perfect

However, just because a translation sounds more fluent, it doesn’t mean it is correct. This is why whenever you need a high-quality translation for your business you are better off with a translation by a professional language service provider like EHLION.

To test Google Translate, we took a sentence from our own website and asked Google to translate it.

The translation sounds good, yet it is incorrect. To show you what we mean, we took the German translation and asked Google to translate it into English again, and as you will see, the translation does not have the same meaning as the original one.

This is a translation you wouldn’t want to use on your website if you’re expecting your customers to see you as a professional in your field, but professional translation is about way more than just getting the words right! When your company goes global, this often requires localisation.

Your services, websites, or products need to be adapted to the local market and culture. For example, some paragraphs on your website might work perfectly in the UK but will make no sense to Chinese customers. Why? Because they miss the cultural background to understand the text in the way it was meant to.

This is where professional translators come in. They do not only know the source and target language but are also familiar with both cultures so they can adapt the text accordingly.

Conclusion: The Google Translate app scores with Diversity

Whether need to translate a text, a conversation, or a picture, the Google translate app has thought of everything, including an offline version.

However, not all functions are available in the same number of languages and not all of them work offline.

For example, Google Translate`s conversation mode doesn’t work offline. If that is a function that is important to you, it might be worth having a look at the offline and voice translator devices on the market as many of these translate voice-to-voice conversations even offline.

The Google Translate app is the perfect fit for many occasions, but if you need a website translation, a translation of manuals, or an interpreter for your business meeting there is no way around hiring a professional translator or interpreter.

We know that especially when you need to translate into multiple languages the translation process can seem overwhelming at first, this is why we have put together the step-by-step guide “The language translation process and how to request a translation”.

At EHLION we offer language services in more than 100 languages and 800 language combinations. We are ISO 17100 certified and work with native speakers from all around the world, in short, we make sure that your company stands out for the right reasons! Contact us for a free initial consultation!

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