googletranslateGoogle's Google Translate app was today updated to version 5.0.0, adding a new feature that allows users to translate words and phrases even when offline in 52 of the 103 languages available in the app. With the offline update, the app remains useful when no cellular or Wi-Fi connection is available, making it ideal for traveling.

Today's update also adds instant camera translation between English and Chinese (Simplified and Traditional), which is useful for reading signs and other content without needing to type words into the app. Instant camera translation is now available in a total of 29 languages and camera mode, which allows users to take pictures of text for higher-quality translations, is available in 37 languages.

What's New
- Offline translation in 52 languages
- Instant camera translation: English to/from Chinese (Simplified and Traditional)
- 13 new languages

Google Translate can be downloaded from the App Store for free. [Direct Link]

Top Rated Comments

Doctor Q Avatar
65 months ago
Google Translate and similar apps aren't perfect, and will never be, but they get a bit better each year. The maps and phrasebooks we might have carried around a decade ago are no longer necessary. I find an offline map and an offline translation app to be invaluable when visiting other countries.
Score: 6 Votes (Like | Disagree)
ArtOfWarfare Avatar
65 months ago
Since languages are not changing
I definitely agree with you that it should be open-source, but you're incorrect that languages are not changing.

You know what you call languages when they don't change anymore? Dead.

What's the word for car in Latin? They don't have one, because the language died before cars were invented.

How about cellphone? YOLO? Emoji?

New things are created all the time, and so we have to create new words so that we can talk about the new things. This is why newer dictionaries exist and we don't all just use an English dictionary from hundreds of years ago.
Score: 3 Votes (Like | Disagree)
_mdavenport Avatar
65 months ago
This sounds awesome, much needed for traveling.
Score: 2 Votes (Like | Disagree)
ArtOfWarfare Avatar
65 months ago
see my reply above, you can continuously update the google translator so that in the year 2616 when people need a dictionary/translator to read a 2016 newspaper, it still works just fine.
Your statement, which you can still edit, or at least concede was incorrect, was "languages do not change". Nobody is arguing with anything else you said.

Although on this note, you're going to want to update the translator a lot more often than once every 600 years. I think once a decade might be safe... but annual or even more often is probably better.
Score: 2 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Doctor Q Avatar
65 months ago
What makes you say they'll never be perfect? Translation is a finite problem... eventually you fix enough bugs/add enough features that there are no bugs to fix/features to add left (which means it's perfect.)
Because natural languages evolve, making them moving targets, because natural languages are full of ambiguities, and also because some phrases and expressions don't have equivalents in other languages. Apps that give you "the translation" can't always be correct. Even if their databases and algorithms let them identify all the subtleties that a human might know, they'd have to give you all possible interpretations and somehow communicate the subtleties to you, or ask you about your intended meaning. Even a human translator would have that problem.

I'm not sure you'd even want an app that requires an interview or a language lesson when you just want to know how to say "I'm down with that" in Hawaiian.
Score: 2 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Shirasaki Avatar
65 months ago
What makes you say they'll never be perfect? Translation is a finite problem... eventually you fix enough bugs/add enough features that there are no bugs to fix/features to add left (which means it's perfect.)
No. It's not a finite problem.
Even there are new English words being invented somewhere everyday, and there are virtually countless possible combinations of Chinese characters, either meaningful or not.
Maybe, if we can live infinitely, after couple of centuries, we can see the time Translator goes into perfect.
Score: 1 Votes (Like | Disagree)

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