Hands On: Siri's Translation Features in iOS 11

In iOS 11, Siri has a new feature that lets you ask the personal assistant to translate English into one of several different languages. We already did a Siri overview video showing off Siri's new capabilities, but we thought we'd take a closer look at translate, which can come in handy when you're traveling.

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Translate works as expected -- ask Siri how to say something in another language, and Siri does it. For example, you might say "Translate 'Where's the bathroom' to Spanish," or "How do I say 'I am a vegetarian' in Chinese?"

When translating, Siri speaks the translation aloud, so whomever you're speaking to can hear what you have to say directly in their language. There's also a button for quickly repeating the spoken translation.

Siri can translate English to Mandarin, French, German, Italian, and Spanish, but not the other way around. Apple says there are plans to expand the feature to include additional languages in the coming months.

As you might have noticed, Siri's new translating abilities are accompanied by a more natural, human sounding voice with better pronunciation and inflection. Siri's also much smarter in iOS 11, thanks to new on-device learning functionality and cross-device syncing. Siri can also make suggestions based on your browsing habits, and it knows more about music.

For details on Siri's new capabilities and all of the other features in iOS 11, make sure to check out our iOS 11 roundup.

Top Rated Comments

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Avatar
38 months ago
What really would be cool is this:

Hey, Siri, please interpret a conversation between English and Spanish for me.

Then you and who you are speaking can say whatever you want in English and Spanish, pause, and let Siri translate that on the fly for each sentence.

Then "Hey, Siri, stop interpreting." to stop.
Score: 12 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Avatar
38 months ago
...which means that all over the world, fat American tourists will be yelling at Siri on their phones, then shoving them into the faces of locals: "DID YOU GET THAT?? I. NEED. A. BATH. ROOM."

Much better than trying to actually learn the language.


...
Score: 10 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Avatar
38 months ago
Siri, do a translo on this gabber from blighty to frog.

Siri: I'm sorry I can't yet translate Australian English.

Strewth.
Score: 10 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Avatar
38 months ago

Hard to believe that this will work well considering how awful siri is.

I'm guessing you haven't used it in a while.

I use siri (well, voice dictation ... same difference for these purposes) for any text messages I send when:
[LIST=1]
* It's going to be longer than a short-ish sentence, and,
* I'm not at my computer to type it out

Yeah, I'll have to occasionally correct a word or two, but as long as I don't go out of my way to speak like I have mouth full of marbles, it usually works pretty well. Certainly a lot faster than tapping out a long message.
Score: 7 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Avatar
38 months ago

Siri, do a translo on this gabber from blighty to frog.

Siri: I'm sorry I can't yet translate Australian English.

Strewth.

Damn is that even English?
Score: 6 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Avatar
38 months ago
Hard to believe that this will work well considering how awful siri is.
Score: 5 Votes (Like | Disagree)

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