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.


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.

Related Forum: iOS 11

Top Rated Comments

iVoid Avatar
87 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)
Attirex Avatar
87 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)
fitshaced Avatar
87 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)
eoblaed Avatar
87 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)
firewire9000 Avatar
87 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)
Born Again Avatar
87 months ago
Hard to believe that this will work well considering how awful siri is.
Score: 5 Votes (Like | Disagree)

Popular Stories

iOS 17

iOS 17.4 Will Add These New Features to Your iPhone

Monday February 19, 2024 6:52 am PST by
Apple last month confirmed that iOS 17.4 will be released in March, and the update includes several new features and changes for the iPhone. Key new features in iOS 17.4 include major App Store changes in the EU and Apple Podcasts transcripts. The update also adds new emoji and includes preparations for the launch of next-generation CarPlay later this year. More details about the new...
General Apps Messages

Apple Announces 'Groundbreaking' New Security Protocol for iMessage

Wednesday February 21, 2024 6:00 am PST by
Apple today announced a new post-quantum cryptographic protocol for iMessage called PQ3. Apple says this "groundbreaking" and "state-of-the-art" protocol provides "extensive defenses against even highly sophisticated quantum attacks." Apple believes the PQ3 protocol's protections "surpass those in all other widely deployed messaging apps," according to its blog post:Today we are announcing...
samsung galaxy ring

'Apple Ring' Allegedly in Development to Rival Samsung Galaxy Ring

Tuesday February 20, 2024 2:27 am PST by
Apple is speeding up development of a smart ring that can be worn on the finger to track users' health biometrics, claims a new report coming out of Korea. Teaser image of Samsung Galaxy Ring shown at Galaxy Unpacked in January Apple has toyed with the idea of a ring wearable for several years, as indicated by several patents, but with Samsung preparing to bring its own product to market, the ...
volvo s60 drivers apple maps

iOS 17.4 Beta Adds CarPlay Option to Show Upcoming Maneuvers in Instrument Cluster

Tuesday February 20, 2024 10:47 am PST by
The fourth beta of iOS 17.4 that Apple released today adds a new CarPlay feature, according to the notes that Apple provided to developers. In supported CarPlay vehicles, there's now an Apple Maps option to show information about upcoming maneuvers in the instrument cluster. CarPlay users will be able to swap the display type between the main and instrument cluster by tapping on the map...
m3 macbook pro 14 16

Apple Now Selling Refurbished M3 Pro and M3 Max MacBook Pro Models

Monday February 19, 2024 5:04 pm PST by
Apple today began offering refurbished versions of the 14-inch and 16-inch MacBook Pro models with M3 Pro and M3 Max chip options, offering the machines at a discount for the first time since their October 2023 release. The release of M3 Pro and M3 Max models on Apple's refurbished store comes almost two weeks after the entry-level 14-inch M3 MacBook Pro first appeared on the store....
apple wallet drivers license feature

Apple Said iPhone Driver's Licenses Will Expand to These 8 U.S. States

Monday February 12, 2024 7:51 am PST by
In 2021, Apple introduced a feature that lets residents of participating U.S. states add their driver's license or ID to the Wallet app on the iPhone and Apple Watch, providing a convenient and contactless way to display proof of identity or age. Unfortunately, states have been slow to adopt the feature since it was first announced in September 2021, with IDs in the Wallet app only available ...
iPad Pro OLED Feature 2

Apple's Upcoming OLED iPad Pro Models Rumored to Be Much Thinner

Tuesday February 20, 2024 1:39 pm PST by
Apple is planning to update the iPad Air and iPad Pro lineups as soon as March, and the new iPad Pro models will be significantly thinner according to dimensions shared by 9to5Mac. Citing sources with knowledge of Apple's plans, the site claims that the larger version will be more than 1mm thinner. The current 12.9-inch iPad Pro measures in at 6.4mm thick, but the new model is said to be 5mm ...