HOLIDAYING SEMI-LINGUISTS REJOICE. Google has your back and will let you translate text - think menus, bills and directions - into your language of choice and spare you the effort of making efforts in the direction of international communication.
The Google Translate services are the source of this travel-based bonus, and we learn of the global awareness boost on the Google Translate blog.
Barak Turovsky, product lead for Google Translate, said that just 20 percent of the planet speaks English and that this minority needs some entrepreneurial assistance. Step forward Google.
Turovsky said that people need to translate all sorts of things, and that Google is helping them out. The firm has increased the number of translatable languages to 27.
"Just open the app, click on the camera, and point it at the text you need to translate - a street sign, ingredient list, instruction manual, dials on a washing machine," he said.
"You'll see the text transform live on your screen into the other language. No internet connection or cell phone data needed.
"Today, we're updating the Google Translate app again, expanding instant visual translation to 20 more languages, and making real-time voice translations a lot faster and smoother so even more people can experience the world in their language."
The application, available for iPhone and Android, does not require a live network connection, and users are asked instead to download the language packages to their copy of the application.
"In many emerging markets, slow mobile networks can make it challenging to access many online tools," said Turovsky.
"In addition to instant visual translation, we've also improved our voice conversation mode so it's even faster and more natural on slow networks."
The updates are rolling out over the next few days. µ
Watch this space
Hackers could erect man-in-the-middle attacks
Painted into a corner
What we'd call copying, Cupertino calls 'inspiration'